Like everyone else in Steeler Nation, GM Kevin Colbert is not happy with the way last season ended. In fact, Colbert isn’t happy with any of the last 11 seasons ended
“Any season that ends without a Super Bowl is never good enough,” Colbert said Wednesday. “We need to be judged on how we finish the season and not about how we did during the season. Even when we were 11-0, I never really had a comfort level because I knew we would judge ourselves and would be judged accordingly from the outside about how we did in the playoffs.”
Of course, we all know how that ended. An ugly 48-37 loss to the Browns that featured 5 Pittsburgh turnovers, starting with Maurkice Pouncey’s airmailed snap that resulted in a Cleveland touchdown on the first play of the game.
And you know who Colbert blames? Himself. Not just for this season but the seasons before.
“I know that the job I did in putting whatever 53-man roster was in each of those given years, it wasn’t good enough,” Colbert said. “It’s our job, my job specifically, to put a 53-man roster together that isn’t coming up short at the end of the season. I think you have to look at it realistically and be honest with yourself and say, ‘The team we put together last year wasn’t good enough and we have to be better.’”
When I asked Colbert if he felt like that way about his performance and how he felt about Coach Mike Tomlin’s, he still pointed the thumb. “The same way as my own,” Colbert answered. “We weren’t good enough. And when I say that, I mean we. Coach can only do so much with the players that he is given.”
“When it works, great,” Colbert continued. “When it doesn’t, we both know that we weren’t good enough. That will always be a ‘we’.
With myself in the forefront, those players that we put out there were a first round playoff loss and we recognize that that isn’t good enough.”
And Colbert says he and Tomlin will remain we. “Mike Tomlin has done so much more good than not good. Mike is an excellent NFL head coach. He has won a Super Bowl; he has been to two. Have we had the success we want to have recently? No. That is a collective ‘we’ and we will just continue to work that that doesn’t happen.”
So how much longer will Colbert want to make that happen? After all, his contract is up after the draft. Then again, that’s nothing new since that’s the way it’s been for Colbert’s 21 years with the Steelers.
“Fortunately, the organization is willing to look at me on a year-to-year basis and quite honestly, that’s how I look at myself and evaluate myself. How did I do this past year? We didn’t do good enough. That’s the evaluation I’m making of myself and Art and I will discuss that at the appropriate time.”
Meanwhile, it’s back to the drawing board. “Right now, the appropriate thing to do is to focus on this team, what we need to do in this given moment,” Colbert said. “As you mentioned, my contract’s not up until the end of May, so we have plenty of time to sort through that. And again, fortunately, they are willing to work with me on a year-to-year basis. And quite honestly, that is all we deserve because we have to continue to prove ourselves each and every year.”