Kevin Colbert is close to stepping down as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ GM. But his contract runs through May 31st and until then, or until the team officially hires his replacement, it’s business as usual for him. Colbert certainly isn’t acting like a man who is cleaning out his office.
In a recent Asked and Answered article on the team website, Bob Labriola noted Colbert was visible during the team’s three-day rookie minicamp weekend. And that for now, his job description hasn’t changed all that much. Here’s what Labriola had to say in response to a question of if Colbert had left the team facility.
“Kevin Colbert has not left the building. In fact, he attended the on-field workouts the Steelers held during the three-day rookie minicamp as he always has, and he still can be found in his office at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on a daily basis.”
Colbert has remained active in searching for his replacement too. Even after telling reporters he wouldn’t be involved in the team’s second round of interviews, he apparently sat in on Omar Khan’s second look with the team, according to the PPG’s Gerry Dulac.
Of course, “retirement” might be too strong of a word. He’s stepping down from his duties as Steelers’ GM but he and the team have left open the possibility of working in an advisory role, potentially similar to what Ozzie Newsome is doing in Baltimore. But Colbert is seeing the team through until a new hire is put in place. Like anyone who has been around the game as long as he has, breaking into the scouting world back in the mid-80s, Colbert loves football. And in return, the game’s been good to him, allowing him to run his hometown team since 2000. He leaves it hopefully on a high note, drafting Ben Roethlisberger’s heir and if all goes well, the future face of the franchise in Pitt’s Kenny Pickett.
Though it’s the offseason and Colbert’s schedule is lighter right now, the fall is the hard part with so many scouting trips in addition to all the in-season management, you almost have to wonder if Colbert could run the Steelers for another year. He’s not acting like someone ready for retirement and Pittsburgh waiting until the summer to replace him was always a bit unusual.
Pittsburgh is still going to hire a new GM, likely within the next three weeks. But just like so many athletes struggle with when they walk away from the game, Colbert will have to find an outlet for all the free time he’s about to have. Because right now, it’s status quo.