Art Rooney II Says Front Office ‘Basic Structure’ Will Stay Same With Next GM Hire

Change can often be difficult, especially after more than two decades in the same place with the same person or group of people.

This type of change is exactly what will happen to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the coming months as general manager, as longtime general manager Kevin Colbert is expected to step away from his day-to-day role as general manager following the draft of the NFL 2022, allowing the Steelers to hire a replacement.

Currently, the Steelers are searching high and low for the next general manager in Pittsburgh, having already interviewed 10 candidates for the impending opener (two internal candidates, eight external candidates). Although change is coming to the top of the football side’s front office, the Steelers owner Art Rooney II said Thursday in a one-on-one interview with WTAE’s Andrew Stockey that while change is coming within the front office, the basic structure the Steelers have had for the past two decades under Colbert is not going to change any time soon.

“You know, Andrew, I would never say we’re not open to new ideas or new thoughts here, but, in general, I don’t think we’re looking for a complete start over in terms of the structure of our personnel department, ” Rooney told Stockey during his interview with the WTAE sportscaster. “You know, we feel like we’ve done pretty well over the years, and so, you know, I think the basic structure will stay the same.

“…We have great internal candidates, as you know, and we’ve spoken to great people outside the organization. So we’re going to have a good pool of candidates to choose from. And so, you know, I think that person will come and be invited into the organization. But certainly if they have good ideas, we’re not averse to talking about them.

So far, the Steelers have interviewed inside candidates in Brandon Hunt and Omar Khan for the impending opener, as well as names like Louis Riddick, Morocco Brown, Ed Dodds, Ryan Cowden, John Wojciechowski, JoJo Wooden, John Spytek and Dan Morgan.

On Monday, Colbert added that the Steelers would not be hiring for the position until the draft is complete and that they are currently completing the first round of interviews before March 1, which becomes the day NFL teams can then decline interview requests. .

Although Colbert and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was able to insert their input into the hiring process, giving their opinion on the best potential hire, Rooney told Stockey that the decision would be his, and his at the end, considering the general manager. the position reports directly to him.

“No, that will be my decision,” Rooney said. “It will be my decision and this position is mine. That’s how it’s gonna be, but it’s great to get input from people like Kevin and the coach [Tomlin] and others in the organization who know these people and can give us solid recommendations. »

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the buck stops with Rooney at the top. He will obviously weigh heavily on comments from Colbert and Tomlin in his decision and should ultimately be able to reach a consensus decision. Don’t expect the front office structure or the chain of command within that front office to change any time soon.

As things stand at the end of February, the Steelers are even more likely to stay inboard by promoting Khan, Hunt or a combination of the two, adding to that ongoing structure inside the front office.