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‘It Was A Little Surreal’ Serving As GM For Team He Grew Up 5 Minutes Away From, Kevin Colbert Says

Not everybody gets to grow up to do something that they love for a living, let alone to be paid handsomely for doing it. Outgoing Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was one such person who has had the opportunity to live out what may well have been his dream job.

Having just completely his final draft as general manager for the Steelers, Colbert has gone on a series of interviews, which included an appearance on The National Football Show with Dan Sileo. Understandably, they often take a reflective tone as he looks back on his legacy and accomplishments.

“Having grown up five minutes from the stadium, it was a little surreal, for the most part, when you’re working with the greats like Bill Nunn and Coach Tomlin and Coach Cowher”, Colbert said of serving in the general manager seat for the team he grew up watching as a kid. “Even having Joe Greene as a part of our staff for nine years after Joe got out of coaching, you never took it for granted, but boy, you look back on it now and say, ‘Wait, I was surrounded by some great folks’”.

That’s a bunch of Hall of Famers you’re talking about, there, quite literally. Mike Tomlin is the only one he named without a gold jacket, and that’s just because he’s still coaching. He went on to namedrop yet another list of peerless peers from his time in what is now known as the Bill Nunn draft room.

“In a given scouting meeting, we would’ve had, Bill Nunn, we would’ve had Coach [Dick] LeBeau, we would’ve had Russ Grimm, we could’ve had Joe Greene, and Mr. [Dan] Rooney popping his head in”, he said. “And by the way, we might have been talking about Troy Polamalu”.

Now 65 years old, Colbert isn’t necessarily riding off into retirement. I fully expect him to remain in the front office as Vice President, a title he already wears, the same way Ozzie Newsome transitioned in the Baltimore Ravens’ front office to allow for the promotion of Eric DeCosta.

Still, it’s a major transition to go from being the head of the entire football operations department to effectively becoming something of an advisor. It’s certainly the end of an era, and that perhaps finally gives him time to pause and to reflect on just what he has been able to achieve.

“Sometimes when you’re involved in it, you don’t get a chance to think about it, but later on, maybe we’ll reflect on how fortunate we’ve been”, Colbert admitted. But for now, at the very least, he is still on the job until the end of the month. And, I’m sure, he’ll still be in the building for much longer, with a new, perhaps truncated title.

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