The Pittsburgh Steelers have been conducting a somewhat unorthodox general manager search, given the timing of the process. While current general manager Kevin Colbert announced a couple of months ago that he would be stepping down, this is a position that is normally filled at that time.
Pittsburgh does not intend to hire a new general manager until after the draft—which is just next week already. They have interviewed 16 different candidates for the position, including two in-house candidates, and some candidates who are not currently directly affiliated with any NFL organization. One from the latter group was among the most high-profile names to be interviewed, that being Louis Riddick.
A Pennsylvania native who played for Pitt, Riddick had a healthy career in the NFL as a safety before transitioning into the scouting world, spending more than a decade in the NFC East with Washington, and then later with Philadelphia, including as director of pro player personnel at both stops.
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, however, isn’t planning his welcome party. When he was asked during a recent chat session if he felt that Riddick had a real opportunity to become the team’s next general manager, he responded, “I don’t think so at all”.
The veteran beat writer has already offered his preliminary thoughts on the general manager search before, citing Eagles executive and Pittsburgh native Andy Weidl as the individual he believes is the frontrunner. Weidl was also among those named by Dulac’s former colleague, Ed Bouchette, now of The Athletic, though Bouchette’s current colleague, Mark Kaboly, strongly put his weight behind in-house candidate Brandon Hunt.
The Steelers conducted a series of interviews throughout February and March, ending there, resolving to resume the process after the draft. They will conduct a round of second interviews with the finalists before announcing who the next general manager will be, but, again, that will not take place until after the 2022 NFL Draft process has been completed.
Until then, it’s still Colbert in the driver’s seat, and we still don’t know what seat he will be taking after that. He has avoided stating that he intends to retire, and in fact has been rather open to the possibility of remaining onboard in some other role, such as Vice President, a title he already holds—very similar to Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore.
Either way, this draft class will be a key part of Colbert’s legacy, not only as the last one with him leading the show, but also as the first class after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retired. It will be telling how they attempt to address the quarterback position next week.