Kevin Colbert has been heard on the Pittsburgh airwaves more than Lady GaGa (or Pink Floyd if you are a ‘DVE listener) in the last couple of days. He has been on to address the upcoming NFL draft and that pesky Mike Wallace Situation. He has come right out and said that the Steelers can’t afford to blow it on rounds one, two, or three for fear of putting the team in a hole. Colbert can take the mic and say that previous statement because under his guidance the Home Team has done just next to stellar in recent drafts. Names like Troy, Ben, Heath (HEATH!!!), Hampton, Woodley, Pouncey , and Wallace come to mind when you think of Colbert helmed drafts. There was that Wallace name again. Colbert announced on three separate (but equal) radio stations that he was quite confident that Mike Wallace and the Steelers would come to a long term agreement before the start of the season. Again, no reason to doubt the man; Colbert has done great at keeping and signing free agents. Under the mindful watch of Colbert, the Steelers have attracted prime contributors like Farrior, Ryan Clark, Jeff Hartings, and Charlie Batch. The Steelers have not let any of their own coveted free agents off the farm either since Kevin Colbert came to town.
Kevin Colbert is the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the only person to hold that title in the history of the franchise! That’s 80 years, by the way. No one named Rooney, Donahoe, Noll, or Cowher has had that title. Not too shabby for a dude most of us couldn’t pick out of a lineup of NFL GM’s named Kevin. True story time: I once saw a fan walk up to Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert at a public event (Shaq vs.). The fan handed his camera to Colbert with a dismissive “Hey, Buddy, How about getting a picture of me and coach”. Kevin Colbert smiled took the picture and handed the camera back to the fan. Pretty unassuming fella, no? Colbert is very good at conversation (as well as photography). There didn’t seem to be many canned answers to the questions the Pittsburg radio folks were throwing at him this week.
Colbert is a Pittsburgh native. He grew up not far from Heinz Field. He worked in the scouting departments of both the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions before coming to the Steelers just prior to the 2000 draft. Imagine how frustrating it must have been to hand in a scouting report in Detroit only to have Matt Millen say “Thanks, but we’ll probably just draft another crappy receiver or six”. Thankfully, Colbert left prior to the Millen debacle….. He has continued and built upon the Steelers draft tradition of selecting the best player available to fill a need. He reported this week that he does not necessarily target specific players before the draft and have a “get them at all costs” mentality. Colbert explained that often when teams do that, they get tunnel vision and end up over paying. Over paying is one luxury the Steelers don’t have right now. It is a luxury to have a cool headed guy, fully in sync with the Pittsburgh Steelers philosophy helping to build the future.
Interesting nugget on just how invisible Kevin Colbert is: When looking for a picture to use in the article, I was directed to many pics that were NOT Kevin Colbert. Examples being Brian Billick and Ken Whisenhunt both tagged as being Colbert. Undercover indeed!