Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert was candid while addressing recent moves made by the team as the NFL Owners Meetings begin in Phoenix, Arizona. Two key points were the status of linebacker Jason Worilds and running back DeAngelo Williams.
Colbert shared that the retirement of outside linebacker Worilds did not play a major part in how the team was moving forward. “We didn’t know where Jason’s (free-agent) market was going to go. We anticipated it being much more [monetarily] than we were going to be able to handle,” Colbert said, “so his deciding to retire really didn’t affect us because he really wasn’t in our plans.” Colbert said that he was personally surprised that Worilds chose to retire when he did, but that he respected the decision.
In response to what many have considered a very lackluster free agency signing period by the Steelers, Colbert highlighted what the franchise’s mindset was. “We went into free agency, I guess, really trying to hold serve,” Colbert said. “We didn’t think we were going to be big players [in the market]. It’s not over yet, but I really don’t anticipate a lot of big moves from this point forward.”
Colbert expressed that the decision to bring in a running back to compliment Le’Veon Bell was “a very important piece” to the team’s overall plans. Williams is someone Colbert feels accepts the role the team wants him to play. “A starting running back, I don’t care how good they are, it’s a little hard to play every down,” Colbert admitted. Colbert explained Williams’ role in 2015, “You want to have someone who has been there, done that, but still not worn out, either.” When Bell suffered a late-season injury in 2014, the Steelers running game stalled and it’s something the team doesn’t want to deal with by pushing Bell to the extreme in 2015.
Other Noteables From Colbert
- Ben Roethlisberger Deal:
“The biggest offseason move was obviously to have your franchise quarterback secured…it’s ultimately important to have (Roethlisberger) with us for as long as we can.”
- Salary Cap Condition:
“We’re in good cap shape with the players we have, and we’ll be in good cap shape with players we continue to add or continues to extend…”
- Cornerback Depth/Concerns:
“I think that’s a position we’d like to make some additions to, I see it being more (in the draft)…If there (had been) a deal that made sense, we would have made it. We looked, we kicked some tires, some players kicked some tires with us; didn’t match up, that’s OK.”
- Possibly Drafting a Starting CB:
“I guess it depends on the player. Young players on both sides of the ball traditionally haven’t been starters…there are a few here and there, but you usually don’t go into (the draft) saying, ‘OK, we’re drafting you to start’…”
- Positions Open For Competition in Training Camp:
“…Right outside linebacker, left outside linebacker, the weakside inside linebacker, both cornerbacks, they’re all up for grabs in my eyes.”
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