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Steelers Using Analytics More Under Omar Khan

The Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning to embrace analytics under new general manager Omar Khan’s guidance.



Steelers GM Omar Khan
Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan scans the field before Pittsburgh's game against the 49ers, Sept. 10, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers and analytics feel like two concepts that don’t mesh well together, or at the very least, it feels like they have not been tried much. But the way the NFL is moving, it’s almost necessary to use them in the scouting process and throughout your week of game planning. Any little edge a team can gain, they will, and analytics can help play into that.

Longtime Steelers scout Mike Butler talked to Ron Lippock of Steelers Takeaways, where he made sure to stress that the team does use more analytics under Omar Khan than it did under Kevin Colbert. This is not a surprise, especially given Colbert’s comments on analytics just weeks ago.

Colbert, who has taken a role at his high school alma mater, North Catholic, since his retirement from the Steelers in 2022, was interviewed by the NC Athletics Podcast this week, and asked whether he thinks analytics have too much influence on the NFL in 2024.

“I’m aged beyond the analytical world, and I understand the analytics and importance of information and what it can point to, but it doesn’t tell you the story of that person and that player and who can be successful on that field,” Colbert said.

“At the end of my career with the Steelers, obviously it came into play, and I used to encourage our younger scouts. I said, ‘Keep me up to date. Tell me what I’m missing.’ We had analytics people, and I used to challenge them. I said, ‘When you guys can measure the intangibles, let me know.’ Because that’s the most important thing.”

Colbert’s thoughts on analytics shouldn’t surprise anyone who observed how the Steelers operated under his leadership. But neither should Khan’s idea of changing things or Andy Weidl’s likely agreement with those ideas, considering he worked under Howie Roseman.