‘It doesn’t mean it’s over’

ByLois C

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This weekend marked the remaining draft for Kevin Colbert as general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A 22-calendar year veteran of the group, Colbert experienced expended the previous 12 drafts as GM of the black and gold, choosing the gamers who have served maintain Pittsburgh’s unprecedented success (18 straight seasons at .500 or better). It was declared months prior to this weekend’s proceedings that Colbert would stage down just after the 2022 NFL Draft, however he’ll probably take on a distinctive function in the firm. Pittsburgh has nonetheless to announce a substitution.

Following Working day 3 of the draft on Saturday, through which Colbert and Co. designed 4 choices, the GM got psychological imagining back on his legacy with the club.

“I you should not want to say better than,” Colbert explained to reporters when requested how he felt he was leaving the Steelers. “I am happy to say we added to that [trophy] area. It was 4 trophies. There was 4 of them when we bought below. And you knew the activity. You think about DMR [late owner Dan Rooney] and being ready to incorporate to that room indicates a ton. It would not suggest it is really around. The upcoming stage, I mean we gotta get much more than, and we’ll never shed that. But it signifies a great deal.”

Considering the fact that 2000, when Colbert joined the corporation and began working Pittsburgh’s drafts, the Steelers have selected 21 Pro Bowlers, seven initially-group All-Execs and a Hall of Famer (Troy Polamalu). Pittsburgh received its fifth and sixth Tremendous Bowl titles during the 2005 and 2008 seasons when Colbert was director of soccer functions. Considering the fact that 2011, when Colbert became the initial Steelers worker to have the title “general manager,” the workforce has long gone 111-64-2 in the regular season, built the postseason seven times, gained 4 AFC North titles and reached just one Tremendous Bowl.

“His contributions to this corporation for 22-additionally many years have been excellent and demands no endorsement from me,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Saturday. “Fairly frankly, it speaks for itself.”

Some of Colbert’s most noteworthy draft picks considering that climbing to typical manager include Cameron Heyward (2011, to start with spherical), David DeCastro (2012, first spherical), Le’Veon Bell (2013, 2nd spherical), T.J. Watt (2017, very first spherical), JuJu Smith-Schuster (2017, next round) and 2021 rookies Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth.

Colbert oversaw the drafting of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, when he was the third sign-caller taken just after Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Now Colbert is next Big Ben out the door, but not without trying to replace him. Soon after adding veteran Mitchell Trubisky to the roster in free company, the Steelers took Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th all round selection, the initial very first-round QB taken by Pittsburgh since Roethlisberger.

But Colbert did not prevent there. As he has been wont to do throughout his occupation, Colbert drafted higher-worth receivers in George Pickens at No. 52 and Calvin Austin III at No. 138 and a brother of a existing Steelers player in Connor Heyward at No. 208. Then, for the initially time since 1968, Pittsburgh took a next quarterback, South Dakota State’s Chris Oladokun, deep in the seventh spherical, just in circumstance. It was Colbert’s closing assortment as Steelers GM.

“It’s like a game,” Colbert reported. “When a activity arrives to an finish, you enjoy it and you imagine about it, but you seriously will reflect on it when it’s quiet and you are by by yourself and it is like, ‘What a minute, what do I go to do next?’ I do not know.”

By Lois C