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Steelers longtime exec Kevin Colbert offers heartfelt goodbye

SportSteelers longtime exec Kevin Colbert offers heartfelt goodbye


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We knew it was coming, and now it’s official. Kevin Colbert has retired as general manager after 21 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. He’s been GM since 2010.

“I don’t want to say better than,” Colbert told reporters when asked how he was leaving the franchise. “I’m proud to say we added to that [trophy] room. It was four trophies. There was four when we got here. And you knew the task. You think about (the late Dan Rooney) and being able to add to that room means a ton. It doesn’t mean it’s over. The next step, I mean we gotta get more than, and we’ll never lose that. But it means a lot.”

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 01: Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. 
(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colbert, 65, made his final first-round pick Thursday when the Steelers selected Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick.

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers warms up before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Heinz Field on October 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers warms up before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Heinz Field on October 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Justin Berl/Getty Images)

His run in Pittsburgh began as director of football operations in 2020. Before that, he served as a scout for the Miami Dolphins (1985-89) and the scouting director with the Detroit Lions (1990-99).

Colbert had Pittsburgh in his blood since birth, as he’s a native of nearby Cranberry Township and attended college at Robert Morris University. He even coached the Robert Morris baseball team before turning to football and eventually, the NFL.

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 27, 2019 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN.

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 27, 2019 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN.
(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Along with drafting Ben Roethlisberger, Colbert chose Mike Tomlin to replace Steelers legend Bill Cowher as head coach. Tomlin has turned into a Steelers legend himself.

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While the Steelers have yet to select a new GM, there is a sense around the team that Colbert will still have a voice with the organization in an advisory role. Given all he’s accomplished for the organization, that makes sense.

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