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Resetting Steelers GM Search Candidates

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Steelers GM Kevin Colbert

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to wrap up their second round of interviews for their vacant general manager position on Friday, and may actually have already done so.

The team has interviewed six of the initial 16 candidates a second time, including both internal options and the only experienced general manager in the group. With a decision likely looming, let’s reset the Steelers candidates to replace Kevin Colbert as general manger.

Steelers Scouting Director Brandon Hunt

Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt. — Pittsburgh Steelers

Brandon Hunt, Steelers Pro Scouting Coordinator

Hunt completed his second interview with the team on Thursday. Widely considered to be the front-runner job, Hunt is the top member of the Steelers pro scouting department and also was a key part of the team’s prep for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Like most of the candidates interviewed, a Hunt hire would likely be largely a continuation of Colbert’s practices, though Hunt did spend three seasons with the Houston Texans from 2007-09.

Steelers connections: Pittsburgh native, IUP alum, has worked with the Steelers since 2010.

Steelers VP Omar Khan

Steelers vice president Omar Khan. — Pittsburgh Steelers

Omar Khan, Steelers Vice President

Khan had his second interview for the position on Tuesday. The only individual in the process that does not have a scouting background, Khan has been the most trusted member of the Steelers’ football administration staff for a very long time. 

Considered on the NFL’s top salary cap gurus, Khan has been a candidate for multiple other GM positions in recent offseason, including this one. Khan has been with the Steelers since 2001, after getting his NFL start with his hometown New Orleans Saints.

Steelers connections: Been with the team since 2001.

Steelers GM Candidate Doug Whaley

25 September 2016: Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley walks out to the field during a NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY. (Kellen Micah/Icon Sportswire)

Doug Whaley, Former Buffalo Bills General Manager

Whaley had his second interview with the Steelers last week. The only experienced general manager in the candidate pool, Whaley was the Buffalo Bills GM from 2013-17. He’s currently an executive for the XFL.

Despite being an external candidate, Whaley also stems from Colbert’s scouting tree, having spent 10 years in essentially position that Hunt now holds before becoming assistant general manger and then GM in Buffalo. Whaley hired Bills head coach Sean McDermott, which looks to have been a steal, but his draft record was hit or miss.

Steelers connections: Pittsburgh native, Pitt alum, worked for Steelers 2000-10.

Eagles VP Steelers GM Candidate Andy Weidl

Andy Weidl. — Philadelphia Eagles

Andy Weidl, Philadelphia Eagles Vice President

Weidl had his second interview on Wednesday. He is another member of the Colbert scouting tree, but has extensive experience elsewhere. After getting his start with the Steelers, he’s worked under Ozzie Newsome in Buffalo, Mickey Loomis in New Orleans and Howie Roseman in Philadelphia — all respected NFL general managers.

Steelers connections: Pittsburgh native, worked for Steelers 1998-99.

Steelers GM Candidate John Spytek

John Spytek. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers

John Spytek, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vice President 

Spytek had his second interview with the team last week. Spytek helped build the Bucs Super Bowl LV-winning team and works under GM Jason Licht, specializing in player acquisition through free agency and the draft.

Before Tampa, Spytek spent time with the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles and has been in the NFL since 2005.

Steelers connections: none

Steelers GM Candidate Ryan Cowden

Ryan Cowden. — Tennessee Titans

Ryan Cowden, Tennessee Titans Vice President

Cowden had his second interview with the Steelers last week. Cowden has 22 years of NFL experience as a talent evaluator, having spent 16 seasons with the Carolina Panthers before joining the Titans in 2016.

Cowden was also a candidate for the New York Giants GM job this offseason and Washington last year.

Steelers connections: none

There are 10 other candidates that received a first interview with the Steelers that have not yet received a second one.

Louis Riddick, ESPN Analyst

Ed Dodds, Indianapolis Colts Vice President

JoJo Wooden, Los Angeles Chargers Vice President

John Wojciechowski, Green Bay Packers Co-Director of Player Personnel

Morocco Brown, Indianapolis Colts Director of College Scouting

Joe Horiz, Baltimore Ravens Director of Player Personnel

Ran Carthon, San Francisco 49ers Director of Personnel

Dan Morgan, Carolina Panthers Assistant General Manager

Jerry Reese, Former New York Giants General Manager

Rick Spielman, Former Minnesota Vikings General Manager

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