??On Saturday, as players from the Pittsburgh Steelers checked in at Saint Vincent College for annual training camp, the organization enacted yet another forward-thinking move by offering a contract extension for general manager and director of football operations, Kevin Colbert. The move came less than 48 hours after the Steelers handed a similar deal to head coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers organization appears to have indicated their satisfaction with the direction the club is moving and will retain both men in leadership positions through at least 2018.
Colbert stepped into his role with Pittsburgh in 2000 after working with the Detroit Lions. A native of Pittsburgh, Colbert attended Robert Morris University, coached baseball and football at Ohio Wesleyan before becoming an NFL scout with BLESTO. Colbert succeeded Tom Donahoe and has worked hand-in-hand with both the Steelers front office and coaching staff since doing so.
Steelers team President, Art Rooney II said of Colbert, “(His) work and footprint on our football operations have been a key factor in our success.”
At 58, Colbert has seen his fair share of success in Pittsburgh and expressed his emotions in a team press release:
“I am truly grateful to Art and Mr. [Dan] Rooney for the opportunity to continue my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Colbert said. “It is with great anticipation that we enter into the 2015 season in pursuit of another Super Bowl championship.”
Following the team’s final activities on Saturday, Tomlin commented on the relationship he and Colbert share. “I think we’re similarly focused in that we don’t care who gets the credit. We don’t care where great ideas come from,” said Tomlin. “We have a job to do, we appreciate input (and) we work together. He’s a good man to work with…continuity is a good thing when it’s positive. It’s our job to make sure it remains positive.”
Following a 2014 season that saw the Steelers retool themselves into a strong contender for yet another run at an NFL Championship, it isn’t surprising that Rooney viewed extending Colbert as a natural fit that compliments the contract offered to Tomlin. The likelihood that either contract would have been extended, or even considered, should Colbert and Tomlin not be so similarly focused is unspoken. The Steelers recognized the need to remain focused on success and made a move that speaks to the level of foresight they have when it comes to creating a balance in leadership that should translate to the players and staff.
(article originally posted on Examiner.com by author under different headline; used with permission)
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