There’s no slow down to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ busy week. After signing a flew of free agents for their future general manager, the team announced they have interviewed three more candidates for the position, one that will take over for Kevin Colbert following April’s draft.
The Steelers announced they have interviewed Jerry Reese, Rick Spielman, and Doug Whaley.
All three names are former GMs, the first group of ex-GMs who have been interviewed. It’s clear the Steelers have broken their interview process into two camps. Newcomers, ones who have never been in the position before, and ones who have done the job.
Reese, 58, served as the Giants’ GM from 2007 to 2017. He’s spent his entire NFL life with the team, first hired in 1994 by the Giants as a scout. With New York, he won a pair of Super Bowls.
Spielman, 59, served as the Vikings’ GM from 2012 until this past year when the Vikings fired him and head coach Mike Zimmer in a house-cleaning move. He was reportedly in talks to join Jacksonville in an executive role as a go-between Trent Baalke and Shad Khan. But that move never appeared to actually take place. He was with the Vikings starting in 2006 as VP of player personnel, spending his first year on the same squad as Mike Tomlin, hired as Minnesota’s DC in ’06. His brother, Chris Spielman, also played for the Detroit Lions when Kevin Colbert worked there and Rick served as a pro scout under Colbert.
Spielman and Riddick were on our list of names to consider back in late January.
Whaley, 49, may be the most familiar name to Steelers fans. A Pittsburgh native, he spent time with the Steelers as their pro personnel coordinator before leaving to become assistant GM and eventually the GM of the Buffalo Bills. After being fired by Buffalo, he also worked in an executive role with the XFL.
All three of these names aren’t in the NFL, meaning Pittsburgh could interview them without requesting permission from a team, a rule that kicked in starting March 1st. Pittsburgh has now interviewed 16 candidates to replace Colbert: Louis Riddick, Morocco Brown, Ed Dodds, Ryan Cowden, John Wojciechowski, JoJo Wooden, John Spytek, and Dan Morgan, Omar Khan, Brandon Hunt, Joe Hortiz, Ran Carthon, and Andy Weidl.