LATROBE (93.7 The Fan) - One of football’s most successful general managers may be nearing the end of the road. When exactly that might be, however, is still to be determined.
Steelers Vice President & General Manager Kevin Colbert, who has worked with the team since 2000, met with the media Saturday morning at Saint Vincent College before the second day of training camp practices.
Colbert’s current contract expires in May 2020, right after the NFL Draft. He decided to wait until that point to discuss an extension, which would be just a one-year deal.
“When I did my last extension, it was with the understanding that, when we got to the end of that extension, if I was still employed, that most likely, moving forward, we’d approach it year-to-year. That was a personal request on my part and I’m very grateful that (Steelers president Art Rooney II) is accommodating to that, because that’s just where myself and my family are in our lives.”
Colbert, a 62-year-old Pittsburgh native, has overseen two championship winning teams in 2005 and 2008.
Retirement talk, however, has had no impact in how the team operates its scouting and personnel decisions.
“It hasn’t changed anything that we’re doing from a preparation standpoint,” he said. “My schedule this year is as busy as it was in any previous year.
“2019 is the priority, but I’m not thinking about this being my last year. We’ll make that decision at some point that’s agreeable. Right now we’re going to focus on 2019. I still love what I do and, as long as I still love what I do, I could see myself continuing to do it.”
Colbert, the NFL’s longest-tenured general manager, is not responsible for the contract situation of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, as that is taken care of at the ownership level. But he is a supporter of Tomlin, who has received a fair amount of criticisms in recent years for a lack of postseason production and the handling of the locker room.
“Coach is 125-66-1, he’s 1-1 in Super Bowls, he’s never had a losing season,” Colbert said. “Mike Tomlin is a great NFL coach. Anybody who argues that is not paying attention to the facts. I’m very blessed to work with coach Tomlin, the Rooney’s. Having Mike part of that as we’re going forward, to me, is a no-brainer.”
While his time may be limited in Pittsburgh — or perhaps not — Colbert’s goal remains the same.
“Win a Super Bowl. I’ve been fortunate to have won it twice. I really want to win it for the guys who haven’t. Its great when you’re a part of it yourself, but to get it for somebody else, that’s really more important at this point.”