He’s rarely heard from or seen. He’s never one for the blockbuster move. What Steelers GM Kevin Colbert does do is produce talent for this team consistantly. Taking into consideration a pretty good body of work, the 2017 offseason may have been hisbest yet. In true Kevin Colbert style, he quietly put together a list of acquisitions that has been key in this seasons early winning.
Free Agency and trades:
One thing we know about how the Pittsburgh Steelers operate is that big splash free agent signings are not on the table. This offseason was no different. While other teams were spending millions on high priced talent, Colbert was cherry picking the lesser knowns with tremendous sucsess. Of the four street free agents Colbert signed, at least two have had a major impact. Tyson Alualu had been fantastic as rotational defensive lineman. He’s also filled in admirably for the various injuries Tuitt and Heyward have suffered so far this season. Colbert saved his best move for last when he landed Cleveland Browns cast off Joe Haden. Haden has solidified the second corner spot for the Steelers this season. His play is a big factor in why this team is ranked so highly on pass defense. The other two signings of Coty Sensabaugh and Justin Hunter will have to go as an incomplete until they can make their way to some playing time. Colbert topped off his offseason by upgrading the tight end position in a trade with the 49ers. Acquiring Vance McDonald shored up what was the weakest position on the roster. McDonald has shined as a run blocker, and may yet pay dividends in the passing game.
All you can ask out of a draft class is that your first and second round picks make an impact. Well you can check that box for Kevin Colbert’s 2017 draft class. Both JuJu Smith-Schuster and TJ Watt have been major contributors early on this season. Third round pick Cam Sutton will be activated from injured reserve in the coming weeks. Sutton will further bolster an already deep secondary. Fourth round pick James Conner has already shown some flashes in limited action behind Le’veon Bell. Playing time will be hard to come by, but the rookie running back has made the most of his limited opportunities. Joshua Dobbs and Brian Allen make it 6 out of 8 draft picks to still be with the team. That’s an excellent result for any draft class.
If this team goes on to win it’s seventh Super Bowl much of the credit will be showered on the star players and the head coach. All the while Kevin Colbert will be in the background as he usually is. For those who really pay attention though, Colbert will be the one most responsible for bringing a championship back to Pittsburgh.