We got our very first look into what an Omar Khan press conference at the NFL combine would look like yesterday. He did the usual one at the podium, then sat down with Pro Football Talk and The NFL Network. As is usually the case with front office personnel, Khan tried to say as little as possible. He did however give us a few nuggets to go on as we head into his first offseason as the Steelers top guy:
1. The Steelers like their offensive line…a lot:
If you’ve read our draft coverage at all you’d already know the Steelers are more than content with their offensive line heading into 2023. While many of us think this unit needs to be upgraded, Omar Khan and company disagree. He made the point in all three interviews of how excited he was at the improvement the line made over the course of the season. As we have said all along, do not expect an offensive lineman early in this draft. Perhaps later on as a depth piece, but not at 17 or 32.
2. Cam Sutton is priority one this off-season:
One of the few actual bits of concrete news from the Omar Khan press conference is the fact that they have already begun negotiations with corner Cam Sutton. This team simply can not afford to let their best corner walk in free agency. It will be interesting to see if the Steelers dire need at this position leads the team to overpay Sutton. Steelers free agents: The case for and against re-signing Cam Sutton
3. Steelers double down on keeping Mitch Trubisky:
Omar Khan went out of his way to heap praise on Mitch Trubisky yesterday. On the surface this makes it likely that he will be back in 2023 as the team’s backup quarterback. As much as we don’t want to believe it, this remains a very real possibility. Mike Tomlin may indeed still be scarred by what happened in 2019. That also could be the reason they held onto Mason Rudolph all of last season.
On the other hand, this could be a ploy to keep whatever small trade value he has intact. Remember, if other teams are convinced the Steelers will cut Trubisky they will not offer anything in a trade. Talking up a player they no longer need, and who’s cap number is absurd, is just part of the lying season that is this time of year. Stay tuned on this one.
4. DeMarvin Leal will remain a Swiss Army knife on the D-line:
Omar Khan was asked if DeMarvin Leal would be moved back to the interior permanently, or continue his play on the outside. He responded by saying that Leal will continue to be used as he was in 2022. This has two potential consequences for the Steelers. First off, this team will have an even more dire need for a defensive tackle this offseason. If Leal is only a part time defensive tackle, this team needs more depth at this position. They currently only have Cam Heyward, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and Montravius Adams under contract.
Another interesting sidebar to this comment is that this team may think they are set with edge depth. This is something we have openly disagreed with since the beginning of the 2022 campaign. Not improving this team’s edge depth would be a huge mistake. Hopefully this will not be the case.
5. Khan confirmed the pecking order:
Omar Khan gave us a rare look at a front office pecking order during his press conference. He went into detail saying Andy Weidl set the draft board with help from Mark Sadowski. Khan went on to say that he, Art Rooney, and Mike Tomlin would decide on the selections. This is not at all surprising news. It has long been our assumption that Mike Tomlin was a leading voice in all player transactions with the Steelers. With the retirement of Kevin Colbert, we would go as far as to say he is the number two behind only Rooney.