New Steelers GM Omar Khan’s promotion signals changes to front-office structure

ByLois C

May 31, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PITTSBURGH — Acquiring three head coaches — Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin — over a span of 53 yrs tells you that the Steelers and the Rooney family members don’t especially embrace change with open arms.

Adjust is quite a great deal inevitable now with the naming of vice president of football and organization administration Omar Khan as the up coming general supervisor of the Steelers, replacing the retiring Kevin Colbert. Khan, 45, is the eighth common manager in the franchise’s 89-year history. But he is the 1st given that 1971 who did not have a player staff qualifications.

Dick Haley, Tom Donahoe and Kevin Colbert manned the GM posture — or, as it was formerly referred to, director of soccer operations. Rooney additional the standard supervisor title in 2010 to, of all good reasons, get Colbert a lot easier access into push containers though scouting collegiate online games.

Dennis Thimons, Jim Boston, Dan Ferens and Khan managed the contract negotiations from the mid-1970s on. It’s just how the Steelers did factors.

With Khan’s advertising, as perfectly as the documented hiring of assistant basic supervisor Andy Weidl — a scouting veteran of 25 years who expended the previous 6 seasons with the Eagles, such as the previous a few as the team’s vice president of participant staff — the most knowledgeable personnel evaluator won’t have closing say in choices.

The Steelers have in no way employed an assistant basic manager.

Weidl, a Mt. Lebanon, Pa., indigenous, will probable deal with the scouting part of the occupation, with Khan continuing his obligations on the administration aspect of factors. Present pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt, 1 of six finalists for the general manager position, does not know what the future holds for him, according to a source. Hunt a short while ago interviewed for the Bills’ assistant GM task and a front-business job with the Eagles. In January, he interviewed for the Raiders GM work, which went to Dave Ziegler.

For the earlier 16 years, Colbert and Tomlin worked intently together on the draft. They traveled to the Senior Bowl, the mix and professional days with each other and routinely claimed that draft picks had been a mutual selection and not person.

It’s mysterious how that dynamic will get the job done now, but a fresh new and unfamiliar standpoint may possibly be warranted after a few of beneath-typical drafts beneath the Colbert/Tomlin look at.

Khan is acknowledged far more for being a grasp of the income cap than anything else. The Steelers were a single of the initial groups to embrace restructuring contracts to get cap compliant. Several thought that apply would end up putting the Steelers in cap hell, but the yearly bounce in the cap permitted it to do the job.

Two years ago, when the pandemic decreased the cap for the initial time in virtually two a long time, Khan employed a new tactic of introducing voidable decades onto the conclusion of contracts to get by way of the season. He also is properly identified for structuring contracts for non-quarterbacks with extremely tiny guaranteed income earlier the initially yr, to stay clear of currently being saddled with a opportunity dead cap participant (although an exception was made final 12 months with T.J. Watt).


Khan has been with the Steelers considering the fact that 2001. (George Gojkovich / Getty Images)

Becoming ready to examine talent is believed to be way down the listing of Khan’s strengths. Even so, other businesses have worked perfectly that way, which include the Eagles. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman has a qualifications pretty identical to Khan.

Now, it isn’t like Khan is devoid of the capacity to identify personnel. He worked for the Saints as a player staff/scouting assistant from 1998 to 1999, and the team established a coaching/football functions position for him underneath new mentor Jim Haslett in 2000. Khan worked with recent Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, who was the Saints’ offensive coordinator, and also aided the offensive excellent control mentor split down opponents’ tape, according to this ESPN tale printed in 2013.

“Many periods coaches technique points otherwise than staff persons and personnel individuals technique items in a different way than coaches, and it gave me their perspective, which was priceless,” Khan told ESPN. “In hindsight, it was 1 of the best selections I at any time made.”

Even so, Khan’s strength is cap administration. Weidl’s is staff.

Weidl commenced his NFL profession with the Steelers, assessing higher education and specialist players as a player personnel assistant (1998-99) underneath Donahoe and former Steelers scout and Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Invoice Nunn.

Weidl served build Eagles rosters that attained 4 playoff berths, two division titles and just one Super Bowl title about the very last five seasons.

(Picture: George Gojkovich / Getty Images)

By Lois C