Pittsburgh Steelers coaches and coordinators don’t appear to be attracting much attention in terms of coordinator and head coaching jobs around the NFL. But members of the team’s front office are a hot commodity.
On Sunday we learned that the Lions “covet” Steelers Vice President and General Manager Kevin Colbert for a similar role in Detroit. Then on Monday evening the Houston Texans revealed that they have interviewed Steelers Vice President of Football & Business Administration Omar Khan for their General Manager position.
Khan, 43, has been with the Steelers since 2001, a year after Colbert arrived via Detroit. Khan has been a candidate for General Manager jobs in years past, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, has been runner-up for GM jobs with the Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.
Last month, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated published his 12th annual list of Future NFL GMs and Khan was prominently mentioned.
“Earlier in his career, Khan was earmarked as Bill Cowher’s GM whenever Bill Cowher returned. Cowher never came back (maybe he will someday), but in the meantime Khan’s influence in the Steelers organization grew,” notes Breer.
Indeed, after spending a decade as Steelers Football Administration Coordinator, Khan was promoted to Director of Football Administration in 2011 and then realized the title he has today in 2016.
Omar Khan the Future GM in Pittsburgh?
“If Kevin Colbert retires this year or next, Khan could become GM there (or maybe split the role with a personnel man like [Pro Scouting Coordinator] Brandon Hunt),” offers Breer.
There’s also a possibility that Khan could end up in Carolina at some point, as “he’s also got a relationship with Panthers owner David Tepper, who had his eyes on Andrew Berry last year and may see Khan as a similar outside-the-box idea,” concludes Breer.
As such, it’s very possible that Khan—who has long been considered a salary-cap expert and Pittsburgh’s “contract guru”—might see other interviews in this cycle. Khan is also “well-versed in all scouting department operations along with analytics trends,” according to Aaron Wilson, who covers the Texans for the Houston Chronicle.
The Texans have gone without a permanent General Manager since October, when GM/head coach Bill O’Brien was terminated. (O’Brien added the general manager role to his head-coaching duties nine months before he was fired.)
On the one hand, the Texans could be seen as an attractive destination for a new GM, as the team already has a young franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson.
On the other hand, the new GM won’t have much draft capital in his first draft, as O’Brien traded the team’s first- and second-round picks in 2021 to the Miami Dolphins. The first-rounder turned out to be the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Steelers’ Stephon Tuitt Wins 2020 Ed Block Courage Award
In other news from Monday, the Steelers announced that defensive end Stephon Tuitt is the team’s recipient of the 2020 Ed Block Courage Award.
The annual award honors one player from every NFL team—one who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Recipients are selected by their teammates to recognize both on- and off-the-field effort, along with their ability to overcome great adversity, whether personal or professional.
Tuitt suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in mid-October 2019, but came back this season to provide the Steelers defense with 11 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 25 quarterback hits.
Recent Steelers winners have included James Conner, Ryan Shazier and Artie Burns.
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