The Pittsburgh Steelers have wrapped up their interviews for the general manager position, and while the team has not established a timeline for the hire to be announced, it would not be surprising if it is sooner rather than later.
Five of the six candidates have current jobs in NFL organizations that are starting OTAs this week, and their current teams are going to want to know if they need to replace key front office members sooner rather than later, especially those in the pro scouting realm.
The Steelers will make the choice between team vice president Omar Khan, pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt, Eagles VP Andy Weidl, Tampa Bay VP John Spytek, Titans VP Ryan Cowden and former Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley.
But the club might also not choose just one. The Athletic reported early on in the process that the Steelers could share the role between multiple individuals, and that plan seems to make the most sense. Khan is the only individual without a scouting background in the process, and seems to have a skill set more suited to a team president role than a general manger.
Art Rooney II has been the team’s president since 2003, with his father Dan Rooney assuming the role of chairman. There hasn’t been a non-Rooney president of the Steelers, but Khan seems well-positioned to do just that. Rooney would of course still be in control of the team, but with a promotion in title for the first time in two decades to one more in line with the ones his father and grandfather held as leaders of the club.
A promotion to general manager for Brandon Hunt would then let the Steelers keep both of their rising industry stars, and in positions that seem best suited for their abilities.
And it doesn’t have to stop there. Jason La Canfora suggested that the Steelers could hire Whaley — the only of their candidates without a current position in the NFL — as Hunt’s assistant, giving him a mentor that has done the job, letting Whaley get his foot back into the league, and replacing Hunt’s experience as a scout.
With internal promotions likely to allow Kevin Colbert to stick around in his desired advisory role, the Steelers could leave this process with Rooney, Khan, Hunt, Colbert and Whaley all involved in their decision-making process, to go along with head coach Mike Tomlin.
For a team that has drawn headlines recently for having a relatively small coaching staff, that would be a front office to rival any in the league in terms of quantity and quality of individuals.
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