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Steelers GM Kevin Colbert: “There were 4 [trophies] when we got here… and you knew the task”

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert: “There were 4 [trophies] when we got here… and you knew the task”

Over the last three weeks, we wrote our three-part series on Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert’s best draft picks by day, and now we just witnessed his 22nd and final NFL Draft for the black and gold. Following his final pick, he and head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media for what may be the last time as a duo in Pittsburgh.

When asked on how he felt he left the organization, Colbert got emotional and said,

“I’m proud to say we added to that [trophy] room. 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.”

He mentioned the impact that former Steelers owner Dan Rooney had on him as well as being able to add two Super Bowls to the Steelers’ trophy case.

“You think about DMR,” Colbert said, referring to the late Dan Rooney. “Being able to add to that room means a ton, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. The next step, we have to get more than that. We’ll never lose sight of that, but it means a lot.”

Colbert, who’s career spanned over two decades in Pittsburgh, will go down as not only a great drafter, but a great team builder as well. In his 22 seasons in Pittsburgh, Colbert constructed a team that only had one losing season. He produced two Super Bowls, and made it to three in total. Colbert was able to work under the constructs of an organization that never made splashy moves and hardly ever traded draft picks.

A Career In Review: Ranking Steelers GM Kevin Colbert’s Best Day 1 Draft Picks

Perhaps more impressive than anything was Colbert’s ability to draft so well in the first round. During his tenure as general manager, Colbert’s average draft position was 23. In an era that has seen teams with multiple first overall picks, Colbert drafted in the bottom third of the first round almost every year and still was able to select All-Pro and Pro Bowl players. Perhaps some of Colbert’s best picks were TJ Watt and Cam Heyward, who were drafted 30th and 31st overall respectively.

The Steelers have interviewed multiple candidates to fill Colbert’s role, but it’s likely Colbert’s time in Pittsburgh isn’t quite over. Colbert and other brass within the Steelers organization have hinted at Colbert staying on in some sort of advisor/consulting role, especially early on during the new general manager’s tenure. Colbert, who has made Pittsburgh home, will stay with the organization in some capacity especially for the 2022 season.

“We’ve left the door open,” Colbert said earlier this off-season. “I don’t want to be hindering anybody’s growth if they come into this position. Can I help but not hinder? We’ll leave that open and we’ll understand where it is once we make those decisions. I certainly don’t want to be in anybody’s way. If I can contribute, great. If not, then so be it. We’ll all move on.”

With a lot of changes coming to the Steelers in 2022, it’s hard to imagine a team without Colbert. A man who has been so professional and created a great culture in Pittsburgh will surely be missed. Thank you Kevin for bringing an excellence to Pittsburgh that will be carried on for decades to come. Congrats on retirement and Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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