What exactly has former Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert been up to lately? Well, outside of taking in a Robert Morris basketball game on Sunday, we haven’t heard much about the man who had guided the team’s offseasons for the past couple decades. Of course, that’s generally what happens when someone retires.
Although he never explicitly used the ‘r’ word, nor did he dismiss the possibility of continuing to work with the Steelers in some capacity. Although he doesn’t appear to hold any formal title, Steelers president Art Rooney II did reveal yesterday at least part of what he has been doing.
Speaking exclusively to Jenna Harner for WPXI, she reported, “He told me the former GM is now working with the Steelers Alumni Program”, something the team has been more engaged with in recent years, including former defensive line coach John Mitchell.
Lynne Molyneaux is currently listed on the team’s website as Senior Manager of Alumni Relations. The responsibilities that would fall under that umbrella should be relatively obvious, whether it’s making sure alumni are provided for or engaging them to participate in team events.
Mitchell is only listed as an assistant head coach, but it was reported five years ago that he was to have no on-field coaching responsibilities in that transition after Mike Tomlin hired Karl Dunbar to coach the defensive line. Although that never stopped Mitchell from throwing his hand in the dirt during training camp.
“It’s a unique position that requires unique skill-sets and relationships and time spent and understanding”, Tomlin said in 2017 about Mitchell making the transition to full-time assistant head coach; “quite frankly, John Mitchell is the position”.
“We have to do a better job with former players”, he added, noting that he would also work with current players as well. “John Mitchell has been a part of this community for a long time, so why would anybody on our football team buy a car, or look for a house, or try to buy insurance without stopping by John Mitchell’s office first?”.
As for Colbert, who knows exactly what he’s doing? If he’s working with alumni, then he presumably is working with Mitchell and Molyneaux (who has been with the team for well over a decade) in some capacity.
But what kind of fingerprint does he have on this Steelers offseason? Perhaps none at all. While new general manager Omar Khan knows that Colbert will always bee a phone call away, the front office has been remade fairly significantly since the transition and they’ll have their own ideas about what the best next steps to take are.