In his introductory press conference as the new general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Omar Khan made sure to extend congratulations to many who have been there with him throughout his football life and during the hiring process. One of those he took the time to thank is none other than HC Mike Tomlin who he will be working in lockstep with for the foreseeable future as the leaders of the franchise.
“What can I say,” Khan said when referring to Coach Tomlin. “To step into this job and know that you will be working hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder with Mike Tomlin, I mean, it’s a dream come true. His passion is amazing, and it resonates with all of us in the building, myself included.”
As mentioned earlier in an interview with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com, Khan and Tomlin have worked together the past 16 years since Tomlin was hired as head coach back in 2007. Since then, their relationship has grown and their bond has strengthened, likely leading to Tomlin leaning toward Khan as an ideal replacement for Kevin Colbert as GM during the interview process.
The two undoubtedly share a strong bond with one another after working so closely with one another over the years, whether it be through the pre-draft process of scouting and evaluating college prospects, coming to terms with in-house free agents to extend their careers with the team, or communicate about potential outside free agents the team could add during free agency to help fill out Tomlin’s roster for the upcoming season.
Khan acknowledged that it is his job to help build a roster that can compete to win Super Bowls during the press conference, thus his relationship with Tomlin is vital in order for the Steelers to have a unified vision in terms on how to properly construct a championship-caliber roster.
Khan also spoke mightily on Tomlin’s passion for the game of football and how infectious it can be not only to him, but for every member of the franchise. As a general manager, you want to be confident in your coach to get the best out of the players you surround him with.
Tomlin has been known to be a players’ coach and can raise the level of play of his team at times, even in the face of adversity, like when Pittsburgh lost Ben for most of the 2019 season and had to roll out Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at QB. Likewise, the head coach needs to trust the general manager to be able to provide him the talent on the roster to compete for a playoff berth and win games in the playoffs in hopes of capturing a title.
As things stand here today, it appears that Omar Khan was Tomlin’s man for the job, and that Khan is honored to work side-by-side with Tomlin, now as the acting general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers.