Long before a certain late-night faux news anchor made the surname “Colbert” famous via a fancy pronunciation that renders the “T” silent, Kevin Colbert (kol’-bert) was grinding away in the bowels of the Steelers organization.
Colbert became the top guy in the Pittsburgh front office after former coach Bill Cowher won a stare down with Tom Donahoe, and Colbert has been responsible for putting together a team that has won two Super Bowls in four seasons.
But it has been assumed since Cowher left the team that if/when he returns as a coach he’ll make a run at a reunion with Colbert. Indeed, on a couple of occasions over the past two years, we’ve caught wind of rumors that Cowher has placed Colbert and cap-and-contracts guy Omar Khan on stand by, in the event Cowher emerges from semi-retirement.
This year, with Cowher’s return looking more and more inevitable, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the Steelers already are discussing potential G.M. candidates, in the event Colbert leaves.
But Mort points out that it’s not a done deal that Colbert will depart and that, in the end, his loyalty to the Rooneys could supersede his loyalty to Cowher.
If Colbert chooses to leave — and if the Steelers let him walk away despite the terms of this contract — we applaud the Steelers for adopting the right attitude toward its employees. If they don’t want to be there, don’t force them to be there. Instead, let them leave and hire someone who’s happy and motivated to be part of the team.
Given the Steelers’ history and tradition, the Steelers will have a few options for replacing Colbert, we think.