Steelers GM Search Continues

February 16, 2022
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Ben Roethlisberger is going, JuJu Smith Schuster might be going, and importantly Kevin Colbert is leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers. Colbert has been the Steelers GM since 2000 and is credited with putting together two Super Bowl-winning rosters. Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLII. Officially titled as “Director of Operations” until 2010. Colbert didn’t get the title of Steelers GM until 2010 and in 2016 was also named Vice President of the Steelers.

Just like they are having to do at Quarterback, the Steelers are searching for a new GM for the first time in a long time. Colbert was actually the first-ever official Steelers GM, so this is new territory for a team with plenty of needs. Success and Pittsburgh go hand in hand. Whether it is the storied history of the Steelers franchise, the early days of the Pirates MLB franchise, or the successful Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL. With that in mind, the next Steelers GM has to get in and get this team back to a Super Bowl. 

As everyone knows, the Steelers like to promote within and they have a couple of candidates already in the building. Current VP of Football and Business Administration, Omar Khan is the current favorite. Also in the mix is the current Pro Scout Coordinator, Brandon Hunt. Despite having the candidates in the building, the search for the next Steelers GM has brought in some external candidates as well. 

Steelers GM External Candidates

Louis Riddick

Courtesy of USA Today.

Despite being a commentator with ESPN in recent years, Riddick is a name to keep an eye on. Formerly Riddick was a scout between 2001 and 2004 before stepping up to Director of Pro Personnel with the Washington Commanders. In 2008, he moved to Philadelphia as a pro scout. Riddick worked up the ranks and most recently served as Director of Pro Personnel with the Eagles between 2010 and 2013. Riddick was recently linked with the GM position at the Detroit Lions.

As the search for the Steelers GM continues, Riddick might be considered an internal candidate as well….well loosely. Riddick went to college at Pitt and is highly thought of. He is used to being around Heinz Field and knows about the culture of winning in Pittsburgh. In his playing career, he played with four different teams (49ers, Falcons, Browns, and Raiders) and has developed contacts around the league. With the Steelers needing to make a splash in free agency this might be handier than you think.

Ed Dobbs

The current Assistant GM at the Indianapolis Colts has been working in the league since 2003. Starting off as an intern with the Oakland Raiders, Dobbs worked his way up the ladder with stints at different teams. Dodds is considered one of the best scouts in the league and a top candidate for GM. His wealth of experience and eye for talent could be vital for the Steelers going forward. Let’s not forget that Dobbs helped build the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl-winning roster during his ten years with the team.

JoJo Wooden

Wooden is another name in the mix and he interviewed with the Steelers during Senior Bowl week. Currently serving in the scouting department with the Los Angeles Chargers he previously worked with the Jets for 16 years. If Wooden gets the gig then hopefully he can help bring in a Quarterback like Justin Herbert to the Steelers.

Ryan Cowden

Cowden has most recently served as the Tennessee Titans Vice President of Player Personnel. Pittsburgh is the second team to interview Cowden this season. The New York Giants considered him for their opening at GM. The front office at Tennessee has been busy with interview requests this offseason as their Director of Player Personnel, Monti Ossenfort, received three interviews for GM positions. Not a surprise considering what the Titans have been able to do in recent years.

As mentioned previously, the Quarterback position is massively important but this decision is the most important one. Whoever is hired as the next Steelers GM they are faced with an uphill task. Building a roster, getting the Steelers back to the playoffs, and ultimately winning a seventh Lombardi. With a head coach like Mike Tomlin, and young players like Harris, Johnson, and Freiermuth a lot of the work is done. But there is still plenty to do and the Steelers need to get the ball rolling.