Andy Weidl’s Scouting ‘Superpower’ Will Serve Him Well On Road With Steelers

One of the cornerstones of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ approach to football is relationship building. While that has come down from ownership via the Rooney family, it’s also an attribute they’ve prioritized in those who run their team.

Head coach Mike Tomlin is a big relationship guy, ‘down to the nitty gritty’, as he might say, and that becomes particularly important when it comes to the draft process. There are so many unknowns when it comes to college players that having intelligence on a prospect others don’t can prove an important edge.

It’s often pointed out that Tomlin or others have personal connections to prospects or their schools, or coaches at their schools. Notably, when they drafted two players out of Maryland, where his son was recruited and where he was good friends with the head coach—and where Matt Canada spent time.

New Steelers general manager Andy Weidl similarly digs deep when it comes to college prospects, according to Mike DeFabo of The Athletic. He spoke to a number of executives around the league who have worked with Weidl, and they painted a similar picture.

“Andy’s superpower is really his ability to connect with people, relate with people and communicate with people to get that information at a school”, New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas told him. Douglas worked with Weidl for 10 years in Baltimore, and then another several years in Philadelphia.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta pointed out that Weidl, as an area scout for them, always displayed the ability to cut through the coach speak. “The difference with Andy is he’s built these relationships over time”, he said. “A lot of times, he’s getting information that’s more accurate than most teams”.

Doesn’t that sound somewhat similar to the reputation of former Steelers superscout Bill Nunn, a member of the Hall of Fame? How many stories have we heard over the years about how he knew something about a prospect that nobody else did—sometimes even those in the building—which led to them drafting him?

Obviously, such dramatic advantages are much harder to come by today when you can pull up tape on any prospect from anywhere if you look hard enough. In terms of athletic attributes and on-field performance, those mysteries are largely gone from the conversation.

But it’s no surprise why Weidl fits in so well in Pittsburgh, aside from the obvious connections. He is right there in the same process that the Steelers have long embraced. They are a boots-on-the-ground organization in the pre-draft process. Often, their scouts or coaches are running drills at teams’ Pro Days and things of that nature.

You can expect Weidl to be very active on the road over the next couple of months leading up to the draft. He already has decades’ worth of personal relationships built up in all of these college programs. Now he’s just using those advantages for the Steelers’ benefit.

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