The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of what’s been a long off-season after a dismal ending to their 2018 campaign. And there’s a lot of work that needs done. Since the final whistle against Cincinnati, headlines have surrounded the Steelers for all the wrong reasons.
GM Kevin Colbert realizes that, and while speaking at the NFL Combine on Wednesday, he was able to answer questions surrounding the availability of receiver Antonio Brown.
Last week, Colbert stated three teams had contacted the Steelers about Brown’s availability. Since then, that number has grown.
Yet despite the rapid interest in the All-Pro receiver, Colbert reiterated his commitment to getting the best deal possible rather than sacrificing one of the league’s best players simply to get him out of town.
“The less you would play him, the better, but if a team comes through with the best compensation, we have to balance that out. OK, we’re going to play him, twice a year, but we’re going to get the best compensation, so it’s our job to do the better job with the compensation and you have to weigh that all into the discussion” said Colbert.
While trade talks around Brown continue to ramp up, Colbert also expanded on a handful of other topics, including the perception of his team’s locker room.
“I really don’t agree with the perception that there’s huge drama in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room. Again, coach Tomlin treats our players like men. He gives them the opportunity to be a man, and he tries to grow them not only as professional football players, but as fathers, brothers, just as men. So really I have a complete disagreement that our locker room is anything but very functional.”
Colbert also spoke on the possibility of LB Ryan Shazier making a return to the NFL. Despite the progress being made by Shazier, Colbert said there is an “overall understanding” that Shazier won’t be playing in 2019 but will still be a part of the roster.
The topic of struggling DB Artie Burns came up after a disappointing 2018 campaign. “He’s got to find his game” said Colbert, who is favored to select a defensive player early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
While the evaluation process continues for Colbert, he will have more questions to answer as the days grow in Indianapolis.