That the Pittsburgh Steelers elevated one of their own in-house front office executives to the role of general manager is hardly surprising. That they created the position of assistant general manager is, somewhat, as it’s a role they have never had before.
According to Aditi Kinkhabwala, however, the Steelers never considered pairing their in-house candidates, Omar Khan (vice president of football and business administration, who got the job), and Brandon Hunt (pro scouting coordinator, who has left the organization for the Eagles).
During a radio interview from Wednesday the 25th which, yes, I’m just listening to now, she said on The Fan Morning Show with Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack that, contrary to what the hosts had heard, she had been told that there were never even any efforts made to retain Hunt, and that what she had been hearing, which was confirmed days later, was that Dan Colbert would be the internal promotion.
Kinkhabwala started off by saying that, like many people, she thought that the organization would pair a football guy and a business guy, and that Khan and Hunt would be the obvious choices, the two faces that have been in the organization for some time.
“A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with somebody internally who said that inside the building”, she said, “that had never been discussed, that nobody ever officially went to Omar and say, ‘Hey, how would you feel about kind of being partners with Brandon’, and no one officially went to Brandon and said, ‘How do you feel about being partners with Omar?’, and that that wasn’t actually broached”.
That lends credence to the idea that the Steelers were seeking at least some degree of outside influence, bringing in Andy Weidl to the post of assistant general manager, who is a ‘football guy’ through and through. Though he is from Pittsburgh and even interned with the team in the late 90s, he built his way up through several other organizations and is, indeed, an outside voice.
One has to wonder if Hunt would have even been interested in a minor promotion, though. He clearly has ambitions of being a general manager, outright, and to that end, he took several outside interviews this offseason, including with the Eagles. He surely sees a greater opportunity, a clearer path to his goals, by leaving the organization.
While Hunt did a great job while here, this seems to be a case where the two parties felt it best, to some degree, to part ways. The Steelers now have their general manager and a new ‘football guy’ in Weidl, with the son of Kevin Colbert now working his way up the ranks. Let’s up this all works out for the best for everybody—or at least for the Steelers, anyway. I do hope to see Hunt reach his goal one day, though, as long as it doesn’t come at Pittsburgh’s expense.