Omar Khan built his reputation in Pittsburgh, at least outside of the Steelers organization, as the ‘numbers guy’, performing the ‘math of Khan’ to balance the salary cap every year while fielding a talented and competitive roster that more often than not has been in contention.
That was never an entirely accurate characterization in the sense that it limits what his function was, but it’s less true now more than ever, by his own acknowledgment. Speaking to local reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine yesterday, he admitted that his other duties as general manager have required that he pass on a lot of his usual—perhaps favorite—responsibilities along to others.
“That’s consumed a lot more of my time than before”, he said of the scouting part of the job and being on the road, via the team’s YouTube channel. “We have Cole Marcoux…Cole’s been with us for a few years and he’s kind of taken the lead on a lot of the cap and contract negotiation. He really does a great job for us”.
We’ve talked about Marcoux before. Hired in 2020 originally under the title of Football Administration Coordinator, his bio described him as “assist[ing] primarily with the management of the salary cap, player contract negotiations, team logistics and scouting”.
Following the changeover at general manager from Kevin Colbert, the team made a number of changes in the front office, including some in-house promotions. Marcoux was among those to rise in the ranks, now serving as Director of Football Administration. Khan previously held that title before being promoted to the status of Vice President of the same responsibilities.
“It’s just sort of been part of the transition. It just naturally happened where my priorities have to be elsewhere”, Khan said of passing more of the negotiating and cap duties on to Marcoux. “It’s just the way it happens. But I keep close tabs on it. You guys that know me know I like to have my hands in a lot of different things”.
But as he said, he’s never far away himself. I’m sure there’s not a deal that will go through that he does not approve of, as goes without saying, or that he hasn’t looked over thoroughly. But Marcoux has been around long enough to know exactly how the Steelers, and how the Steelers under Khan in particular, want to conduct their business.
Having him in that role helps to free up Khan to more fully explore his responsibilities, as he did for Colbert for decades. And he’s already begun to remodel the front office, even if in understated ways, tweaking it to perhaps better align with his own particular vision and preferences.