Dan Colbert Credits Bill Nunn For Teaching Him How To Scout

With the “Colbert” surname, you might think Kevin Colbert took son Dan Colbert under his wing to show him the ropes of how to be an NFL scout. While his father certainly help, Dan gives primary mentor credit to someone else who was in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization. Legendary scout Bill Nunn.

In the most recent episode of The Standard, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ ongoing miniseries, Colbert, now the Team’s Director of College Scouting, described his football upbringing

“[Kevin] had an influence on me but some of the other guys had more influence molding me,” Colbert explained. “He didn’t have the time to sit down and go over every little thing I was doing. The one person who influenced me the most was Bill Nunn. I got to drive him home almost every day. He’d challenge me to think a little more critically when I was watching film. He’d ask some hard questions and demand answers. When you get put on the spot like that, it’s a really good way to learn.”

Nunn’s story has been told many times over. Working for the Pittsburgh Courier and publishing an annual list of the best black players in college football, the Steelers convinced him to take a scouting role with the team. Soon, he became a full-time scout and helped put together the roster that made up the Steelers’ 70s dynasty. He scoured and scouted HBCUs most other teams ignored, bringing in the likes of DL Joe Greene, Ernie Holmes, and L.C. Greenwood along with names like WR John Stallworth, S Donnie Shell, and CB Mel Blount.

Nunn remained a scout with the Steelers’ organization for decades, eventually taking on a senior and consulting role. Dan Colbert worked his way up from ballboy to scouting intern, leaning on Nunn in those early days. He then spent years as the team’s Central/Midwest scouting, doing most of his work in the MAC, a Miami (OH) alum who knew the area well. After his dad retired and Omar Khan and Andy Weidl were hired, Dan was promoted to the Director of College Scouting last summer. This is his first full offseason in that role. In addition to Nunn, Colbert also credited longtime scouts Mark Gorscak and Phil Kreidler as mentors and influences.

It’s a big draft for the Steelers. 2022 laid a foundation for the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, replacing him with Kenny Pickett in the first round and adding a big-time weapon in WR George Pickens in the second while finding a gem in RB Jaylen Warren as an undrafted free agent. This draft may focus more on the trenches that have been ignored in the draft for years, only one offensive or defensive lineman taken in the top two rounds since 2013 (Stephon Tuitt in 2014), especially given Weidl’s trench-focused background. So Colbert has a key role to play this year, taking what he learned from Nunn and applying to the present-day roster.

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