On Saturday March 19, 2022, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have interviewed three more candidates for the team’s soon-to-be-open general manager position, bringing the total number of candidates to sixteen.
It’s the first time in three weeks that the organization has updated the public on its search. The next-most-recent announcement came on February 26, 2022, when the Steelers revealed that they interviewed three candidates during the prior week.
This week’s names include former New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese, whose teams won two Super Bowls in the ten-plus seasons (2007-17) he served as senior VP/G.M. On the plus side, Reese’s charges were 8-2 in the postseason, but just 91-85 in the regular-season. Moreover, four of his last five campaigns were losing seasons.
Also interviewed this past week was Rick Spielman, former VP of player personnel (2006-11) and general manager (2012-21) of the Minnesota Vikings. The organization compiled a record of 132-123-2 over those two time frames, as per Pro Football Reference (PFR). Spielman’s Minnesota teams made the postseason six times but never advanced to a Super Bowl, getting as far as the NFC Championship game on two different occasions.
Finally, there’s Doug Whaley, who spent a decade working under Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert before being named assistant general manager and director of pro personnel for the Buffalo Bills in 2010. He was promoted to general manager in 2013, but in four seasons as GM his Bills teams never made the postseason, posting a cumulative regular-season record of 30-34, according to PFR.
The Steelers Identified 3 Candidates on February 26, 2022
Looking back further, the Steelers interviewed three candidates circa the end of February, including Andy Weidl, vice president of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles. Weidl is a Pittsburgh native who started his NFL career as a player personnel assistant with the Steelers in 1998-99. After a stint as a scout with the New Orleans Saints, Weidl worked as a scout for the Baltimore Ravens from 2005-16. He joined the Eagles in 2016 as assistant director of player personnel and was promoted to director of player personnel in 2018 before ascending to his current job in 2019.
Also interviewed during that same week was Joe Hortiz, who just completed his 24th season with the Ravens and recently interviewed for the New York Giants’ general manager position, a job that went to Joe Schoen. Hortiz is the Ravens’ director of player personnel, having ascended to that role after eight years as a scout and ten years as the Ravens’ director of college scouting.
Ran Carthon, 41, is the son of former New York Giants running back Maurice Carthon. Ran had a short NFL playing career of his own, appearing in a total of nine games for the Indianapolis Colts between 2005-06. He is currently director of personnel for the San Francisco 49ers, having served five seasons as the team’s director of pro personnel.
The Steelers Identified 4 Candidates on February 18, 2022
That includes Carolina Panthers assistant general manager Dan Morgan, who has been in his role since May 2021. Prior to that Morgan spent three years as director of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills.
Morgan spent the entirety of his seven-year NFL playing career with the Panthers, who selected him No. 11 overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. The former Miami Hurricanes star made 59 starts at linebacker during that time and recorded a total of 390 tackles, with seven sacks, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and a half-dozen fumble recoveries. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2004 and is perhaps best remembered for the 18 tackles (11 solo) he recorded in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the New England Patriots.
The names of the other candidates announced on February 18 also came to light over the past few weeks, with Tampa Bay’s vice president of player personnel John Spytek identified by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network on Friday February 11.
The name of John Wojciechowski, co-director of player personnel for the Green Bay Packers, surfaced on February 9, courtesy of Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
Also on February 9, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Steelers had requested an interview with Morocco Brown, the college scouting director for the Colts.
Brown was a finalist for the Chicago Bears’ general manager position before that job went to Ryan Poles.
The Steelers Identified 3 Candidates on February 4, 2022
Earlier in the process, the Steelers announced that they interviewed a trio of candidates during the first week in February, namely Ryan Cowden (Tennessee Titans), Ed Dodds (Indianapolis Colts) and JoJo Wooden (Los Angeles Chargers).
On February 8, 2022, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Steelers had scheduled an interview with ESPN commentator Louis Riddick, who last worked in an NFL front office in 2013.
According to ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, the interview with Riddick took place in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine.
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Steelers ‘May Not Hire a GM’?
The Steelers also have a pair of internal candidates, those being: Omar Khan, who is the team’s vice president of football and business administration; and Brandon Hunt, the organization’s pro scouting coordinator.
At the end of January, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic reported that the Steelers might choose to eschew hiring a G.M., in which case they would likely split the duties between Khan and Hunt—or between Khan and another individual with a scouting/player personnel background.
One other potential (outside) candidate identified by Bouchette has yet to be interviewed, that being Rob McCartney, director of pro scouting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Whoever steps into Colbert’s role has big shoes to fill, as he is frequently named as one of the best general managers in the NFL, if not the best general manager.
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