After a solid offseason that will hopefully parlay itself into a successful 2023 campaign, don’t be surprised if Pittsburgh Steelers Assistant GM Andy Weidl garners plenty of leaguewide interest for GM jobs next hiring cycle. And not as an assistant, the full-blown, lead man GM position.
The 33rd Team put together a list of seven potential GM candidates for 2024 and included Weidl on the list. That itself isn’t a major surprise but author Paul Domowitch interviewed NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger, a Philly guy where Weidl spent years, and Baldinger had some pretty interesting comments.
“I know he likes it in Pittsburgh,” Baldinger told Domowitch, who used to cover the Eagles. “He started his whole professional journey there. He loves Mike Tomlin and loves Omar. He’s not the head guy, but he makes good money, and they listen to him. They believe they’re building something special in Pittsburgh to compete again. I think Andy would go if the right offer came along. But I don’t know that he’ll just run out of there for any job.’’
Of course, Weidl’s hiring by Pittsburgh last May was a return, not an inaugural visit. Weidl grew up in Western PA, playing high school ball at Mt. Lebanon and learning under Tom Donahoe. Weidl’s first NFL job as a scouting intern with the Steelers for the 1998-1999 seasons, finishing up just weeks after Kevin Colbert was hired as Director of Football Operations in 2000.
He made his way back in Pittsburgh to pair with Omar Khan as the Steelers’ first-ever Assistant GM. And it sure seems like this isn’t a Michael Scott/Dwight Schrute situation with Weidl the lowly assistant to the manager. Weidl’s fingerprints have been all over the offseason, from the team’s overall vision of winning in the trenches and building up the offensive and defensive lines. Many of those were former Eagles in OGs Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig along with OT Le’Raven Clark.
Pittsburgh’s draft was trench-heavy, selecting OT Broderick Jones in the first round, the first tackle the team’s taken in the first round since 1996. And the last time Pittsburgh drafted a tackle that high was 1992, selecting Leon Searcy 11th overall. When Khan and the Steelers made the move to trade up and select Jones, Weidl seemed like the happiest man in the room.
That was followed by taking Wisconsin NT Keeanu Benton in the second round, 49th overall. Even when the Steelers weren’t addressing the lines, they added big and physical people in CBs Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr. along with TE Darnell Washington, a third-round steal.
As Baldinger notes, Weidl’s voice is heard in Pittsburgh and while he may not be one of the “Big Three” decision-makers, he has plenty of sway about the team’s direction and the names it targets. While public figures aren’t known, it sounds like he’s well-compensated for his work too, which should hopefully begin to dispel the “Steelers are cheap” narrative.
Baldinger reiterated himself that Weidl has an active role in roster-building.
“He has a big say now in Pittsburgh and how they procure talent there,” he said.
While being a GM somewhere else would give him more authority, it sounds like Weidl would only leave for the right place at the right time. He has the ability to stay in his hometown, work with his brother, and have an influential voice to build a competitive team for an organization that offers rare stability and job security. He knows he’s in a building with Mike Tomlin, who has been in Pittsburgh since 2007, and Omar Khan, who has been a Steeler since 2001.
Still, if the Steelers have a successful 2023, Weidl is going to be connected to more GM jobs. He has a great resume with Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore, Howie Roseman in Philadelphia, and now Tomlin/Khan in Pittsburgh, and teams will take notice of what the Steelers are doing. Come January, it’s reasonable to believe teams will want to interview Weidl. What happens from there is up to him.
Other names mentioned on the 33rd Team’s list include Chicago’s Ian Cunningham, Indianapolis’ Ed Dodds, and the Los Angeles Chargers’ JoJo Wooden, three men who interviewed for the Steelers’ GM job along with Weidl.