Recalling What He’s Learned From Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan Says Philosophies Will Be Similar

Omar Khan was officially introduced as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ General Manager at a press conference on Friday morning. Khan talked about what he’s learned while working under Kevin Colbert since Khan was hired in 2001.

“Number one, when Joe Greene speaks, you listen. That’s number one. And number two, and this goes way before Kevin, but we’re always going to build this through the draft,” Khan said, according to video via the Steelers’ official YouTube page. “I can’t ever forget that and I won’t, and he was always big on that. That goes back to Art and Mr. Rooney and that’s going to continue.”

While the Steelers did have an uncharacteristically busy free agency this offseason, it’s not surprising to hear Khan say the Steelers continue to plan on focusing their roster-building efforts on the draft. The Steelers have never been a team that’s spent big in free agency, usually strategically going after players that can fill a certain role and supplementing the team with depth signings.

The draft has always been the main pipeline for the Steelers to acquire talent, and it’s something they did a great job with under Kevin Colbert. T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris, and Stephon Tuitt are just a handful of the current Steelers that have been drafted and developed by the team.

If Khan can have a similar level of success at drafting as Colbert did, the Steelers will be in good hands. He’ll have some new faces to help him as well, as Khan announced during his presser that he hired both Andy Weidl and Sheldon White to join the front office. Given Khan’s experience with Pittsburgh and his hand in assembling two Super Bowl-winning teams, the transition from Colbert should be relatively smooth.

With the bulk of the offseason already over and done with, Khan’s first task will likely be working on contract extensions for WR Diontae Johnson and S Minkah Fitzpatrick while getting legwork done on the 2023 draft class.

Khan knows the Steelers’ front office and their processes just about as well as anybody, but it still remains to be seen what will change from the Colbert era with a new-look front office. Obviously, there’s almost a year until the 2023 NFL Draft, yet Khan and the front office’s scouting during the college season will be something to watch. The team used to organize their scouting department by region, but it remains to be seen if Khan and Co. change the way the scouts are organized.

Sound off in the comments below if you liked what you heard from Khan during his opening press conference.

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