The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to address their open positions on the field through the NFL Draft, but now it’s time for the team to continue to host interviews to replace outgoing general manager Kevin Colbert and fill the last open position in the organization. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that the team is set to conduct their second round of interviews. Among those, they reported, is Titans VP of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Buccaneers VP of player personnel John Spytek.
There were 16 initial candidates being considered for the role including former Pitt football player and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick who praised the team’s pick of Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett in the NFL Draft. Riddick was also the Eagles director of player personnel from 2010-13. The team also interviewed longtime Steelers’ executives Omar Khan (Steelers’ VP of football & business administration) and Brandon Hunt (Steelers’ pro personnel coordinator).
It’s long been assumed by many in the Steelers’ fanbase that one of those two would take over the role from Colbert because of the team’s typical way of hiring from within to fill important roles. That being said, the search has been exhaustive enough to strongly consider that might not be the case, and Hunt is reportedly meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles for a front office position.
Other than Riddick, Hunt, Kahn, Cowden and Spytek the team has interviewed external candidates: Ed Dobbs (Indianapolis Colts’ assistant general manager), JoJo Wooden (Los Angeles Rams’ director of player personnel), Morocco Brown (Colts’ director of scouting), John Wojciechowski (Green Bay Packers’ co-director of player personnel), Dan Morgan (Carolina Panthers’ assistant general manager), Ron Carthon (San Francisco 49ers’ director of pro personnel), Joe Hortiz (Baltimore Ravens’ director of college scouting), Doug Whaley (XFL’s vice president of player personnel), Andy Weidl (Eagles’ vice president of player personnel), Jerry Reese (Former New York Giants general manager) and Rick Spielman (Former Minnesota Vikings general manager).
As of now, it’s only been reported that Cowden and Spytek will get second interviews, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of any of the 16 total candidates from getting the job. They finalized the first round of interviews approximately a month ago, but obviously has had to switch focus to the NFL Draft since.