New General Manager Omar Khan may be an internal hire but he’s not bringing the status quo along with his new title. In a panel discussion led by NFL Network’s Jim Trotter, Khan reportedly has a four-pronged approach to bringing change to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization.
Here’s what Trotter said yesterday on NFLN.
“You talk to Omar Khan, one of the things he would like to do is address things like sports science, address things like analytics, increase that. He also wants to increase the size of the scouting staff…those are some of the changes that you will see.”
Those comments certainly echo things Khan has said since being hired and even hints Kevin Colbert dropped before he retired. Khan is younger than Colbert, just 45, and as the “cap guy” is comfortable with crunching the numbers. He’s been widely expected to bring a heavier approach to analytics, though how exactly that looks is unclear. The Steelers have had one of the league’s smallest scouting staffs with constant turnover in the front office, losing two analytics members to other teams and organizations over the last three years. Trotter’s comments to sports science are in-line with what Khan recently said on the Jed Hughes podcast, pointing to soccer’s Premier League as something he studies and plans to emulate.
Trotter also notes Khan wants a larger scouting staff. As of right now, 13 men are listed on the team website who work in the scouting department. It sounds like the team will expand that. As of the moment, they haven’t appeared to replace the losses of Bruce McNorton or Rick Reiprish, two longtime area scouts. It’s possible Khan has made new hires that simply haven’t been updated on the team website yet. We’ll certainly update you if things change. Khan has made replacement hires, notably Sheldon White to run the pro scouting department, and of course, Andy Weidl was tabbed as assistant GM at the same time Khan was promoted. Pittsburgh has retitled a chunk of their scouting staff, including promotions for Dan Colbert and Cole Marcoux (who works more on the cap/CBA side of things).
Though Khan is expected to bring change, Trotter said his philosophy will remain rooted in what the Steelers have done over the last 50 years.
“He is committed to the core principles of the Steelers and the way that they do business. But he has things that he would like to improve on and that’s what they will do.”
That means a commitment to building through the draft, valuing continuity, stability. All in the hope to do what Pittsburgh has done a lot of since the 70s – win. Though playoff victories have been fleeting, none in the last six years, and that’s something Khan will certainly look to change.