On Wednesday Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Las Vegas Raiders have interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt for their general manager opening.
It’s an opening that was created on January 17, 2022, when the Raiders fired general manager Mike Maycock, who had been in his position since 2019.
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The Steelers Employ 2 Potential General Manager Candidates
Hunt is the second Steelers front-office executive to interview for an outside job this week, following in the footsteps of Omar Khan, who recently interviewed with Chicago for its general manager opening after getting permission from the Steelers to talk to him. But Khan did not get the Bears job; on Tuesday January 25 Chicago announced that it had hired Ryan Poles, 36, who has spent the last 13 years in a variety of scouting/personnel roles with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Both Hunt and Khan are considered potential candidates to replace longtime Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, assuming Colbert does in fact retire following the 2022 NFL Draft. That’s one reason why Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN believes it’s not the last time we hear his Hunt’s name in conjunction with a general manager position.
Hunt has been in his role with the Steelers since 2010, following a three-year stint with the Houston Texans (2007-09) as a pro scout. Prior to that he served as an intern in Pittsburgh’s pro scouting department (2005-06).
Hunt replaced Doug Haley, who went on to serve as assistant general manager and director of pro personnel for the Bills and subsequently became Buffalo’s general manager. In December 2020 Haley predicted that Colbert would step down as G.M. whenever Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger decided to retire.
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T.J. Watt Takes Home More Hardware
On Wednesday January 26 Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt was named the Pro Football Writers of America Defensive Player of the Year, as per Steelers.com. He’s the second Steelers player to win the award, following in the footsteps of former Steelers linebacker-turned-actor James Harrison, who won the award in 2008, the same year he was named AP Defensive Player of the Year.
Earlier this week Watt was selected as the 101 Awards AFC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year.
Watt is widely viewed as the favorite to win 2021 Defensive Player of the Year, having tied the NFL’s single-season record for sacks (22.5), a mark set by New York Giants Hall of Famer Michael Strahan in 2001.
Last year Watt was passed up for AP Defensive Player of the Year, despite the best efforts of his promotional wingmen, those being Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and his older brother J.J. Watt, who has won the award three times.
T.J. Watt has now been named first-team All-Pro for three consecutive seasons. The former first-round pick (Wisconsin) has been named to the Pro Bowl a total of four times (2018-2021).
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