We learned in January that longtime Steelers GM Kevin Colbert would be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2022 draft. The draft wrapped up yesterday, and Colbert is indeed following through on his plan to leave his post at the top of Pittsburgh’s front office.
In his final postdraft press conference, Colbert, 65, struggled to contain his emotions. “I’m proud to say we added to that [trophy] room,” he said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “It was four trophies. There was four when we got here. And you knew the task. You think about DMR [the late Dan Rooney] and being able to add to that room means a ton. It doesn’t mean it’s over. The next step, I mean we gotta get more than, and we’ll never lose that. But it means a lot.”
The four trophies that Colbert referenced grew to six under his watch. The Pittsburgh native, who became the Steelers’ director of football operations in 2000 before assuming the general manager title in 2010, oversaw two Super Bowl titles with two different coaches, along with a third Super Bowl appearance. In all of that time, the Steelers only had one losing season, which came way back in 2003 (one year before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was drafted).
Colbert had repeatedly stated that he would remain in his role as long as Roethlisberger was under center, and with Roethlisberger officially hanging up the cleats at the end of the 2021 season, the Steelers are moving into a very different era. One of Colbert’s parting gifts, though, is University of Pittsburgh passer Kenny Pickett, the only quarterback selected in the first round of this year’s draft and Roethlisberger’s heir apparent. The hope is that, even with Colbert no longer operating as GM, Pickett will help carry on his legacy and keep the Steelers entrenched as one of the most successful franchises in the league.
Per a separate tweet from PFT, Colbert is expected to remain with the club in a reduced capacity. He indicated at his press conference that he did not want to be a hindrance to his successor, but his presence will certainly make for an easier transition. The club has undertaken an exhaustive interview process for Colbert’s replacement, with 16 reported interviews as of the time of this writing. The list of candidates includes former GMs Jerry Reese, Rick Spielman, and Doug Whaley, as well as top in-house option Omar Khan, the current vice president of football and business administration.
19 comments on “Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Officially Steps Down”
Hard to overstate how good a job he did here.
The last few months have been some of his best work, too. They should be showering him in money to stay a bit longer.
While I’m not a believer in Pickett as as a franchise QB, he did a great job during his tenure here. (In fairness none of the QBs in this draft are franchise QBs and Pickett was the best of them.)
However the past 22 years have been pretty dang good for you guys. He will be missed.
in fairness, we can’t say that at all considering some of the best QBs in the league have gone late, and most of the worst Qbs ever have been top 5 picks…
I would love to know who their top rated non-QB was on their board when #20 came around. Hindsight is always 20/20, but knowing any other QB, and possibly Pickett, would have been there at #52, I’m wondering if they would’ve grabbed a non-QB and rolled the dice. Given who was left at the time, I personally would’ve preferred one of the two CBs (UW and UF guys).
Overall an above average tenure as the GM, Steelers are a better organization thanks to his time with the team.
I agree it would be interesting to know who they would had grabbed with that pick but at the same time would he had slide like the rest of the guys. Many people said he was the most pro ready.
probably Wyatt or trade bsvk and get Pickens or Pickett anyways
but if they trade back even 5 spots… how bad is the headline the next day if Carolina trades up ahead of you and takes Kenny P?
My man has an impressive ninehead
Him and Peyton Manning needs to a have a measuring contest.
I don’t know why so many fans are down on Pickett and I don’t care. He was drafted and we’ll see how well he can do when it is time for him to start. Get over it.
because they think Mel kipers opinion is relevant
but mainly I think it’s because they saw him for 4 years at Pitt… while not accepting the reality that almost EVERYONE’S draft stock is based almost purely on their most recent season at college
Hats off to him. Us Steelers fans have been spoiled and he’s had a lot to do with it
He’s been as reliable and steady as they come. Colbert has been a perfect calm counterbalance to Tomlin’s intensity. He isn’t going anywhere per se, but he will be missed.
Best time to get out – as the Steelers are on a razor’s edge. No telling if they are going to continue on as a solid franchise or fall into the depths of a 5-11 rebuild.
Young talent everywhere. Tough to win with no qb though. And say what you want about Big Ben the past few years, but he has the brain of a hof qb which counts for more than people think. It’ll be interesting to see how athleticism at the qb opens up the offense, but that line is still a problem imo and theyll need to make quick reads, which Ben did. Can Pickett or Trubisky make those reads or will their ability to move better than Ben be enough is the question
I agree. this team was in full rebuild last season and no one noticed because they made the playoffs
best roster in the division, but worst QB for now .. still will be solid
I wish I had better things to say about that degenerate animal. After the way the Steelers organization AND ESPECIALLY Kevin Colbert treated Le’Veon Bell, with trying to lowball him by not giving him enough guaranteed money, his legacy is NOTHING BUT A JOKE. That’s what I’ll remember most about him. I’m also guessing that he has that hanging over his head and legacy and he wants to retire in hopes that it’ll go away. That’s NOT going to happen. The TRUTH withstands the test of time and LIES DO NOT. The Steelers ALWAYS emphasised working hard for them and then getting your reward. The problem is, that this is NOT what they did with Bell. Then his teammates threw him under the bus just for trying to take care of himself by getting his fair share of the market value. Don’t think that other players didn’t take notice of that either.
How’s bell working out for other teams? Steelers did the right thing
Bell went farther with the teams that he was with like Kansas City after he left the Steelers and he did have 1000 all purpose yards the year after he left the Steelers for the Jets. The Steelers haven’t been the same without him. A lot of what happened with Bell is arguably not his fault. Coaches really didn’t try to utilise Bell the right way. Now the Steelers look like a team that promotes nepotism. I’m not saying that those guys don’t deserve to be in the NFL but it’s hard to believe that they couldn’t find other players as good as them in the late rounds. Even though Tomlin denies that nepotism wasn’t involved in the draft process, it appears otherwise.
A simple “thank you” Kevin.