The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: How much will the front office and scouting department change under Omar Khan as general manager?
While the Steelers have essentially carried out a succession plan with the general manager role, that title being passed from Kevin Colbert to Omar Khan, they are not the same person. The two have worked together for two decades in Pittsburgh’s front office, and surely they must see similarly on many things—but not everything.
Eric DeCosta was Ozzie Newsome’s protégé for a very long time in Baltimore, as well, but he is his own man as the Ravens’ general manager, coming up within a similar line of succession. Things changed under DeCosta, though not so radically as it might with an outside voice.
It might, then, serve as something of a template with regards to what we can expect to see in Pittsburgh as the front office undergoes a transformation from one ‘regime’ to the next. How different might things look with Khan in the driver’s seat compared to what we’ve been used to?
For one thing, the team is hiring an assistant general manager, so that’s already something new. Could it be an indication that Khan is more open to having a larger and more varied staff? What will the scouting team look like? Will they change the way that they organize their scouts, which is by region?
What about even contracts? While Khan has long been the team’s chief negotiator, he now has much more authority regarding exactly what parameters he thinks each contract should take. Now in the general manager’s seat, will he be more open to more ‘modern’ contract demands?