The Pittsburgh Steelers just wrapped up their 2022 NFL Draft class, making seven selections, including two quarterbacks and two wide receivers, plus a younger brother. Head Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert just finished their press conference.
It was the last press conference that Colbert will give in this role. He soon leaves the position of general manager; with the draft over, the Steelers will hold a final round of interviews for their next general manager and hire one soon.
While he continued to leave open the possibility of remaining in the organization as long as he could “help and not hinder”, there was however a moment during the press conference where he could not avoid the emotion of the moment.
After Tomlin launched into a ‘don’t need me’ endorsement of Colbert’s 22-year-old resume for the Steelers, and Colbert responded in kind, the latter was asked what it meant to be able to add at the Steelers Super Bowl trophy room. . That’s when he seemed to hit him.
“I do not want to say [that I left the organization better than where it was when I came in]. I’m proud that we added to this play,” he said, at which point he paused to collect himself. For a moment, Tomlin put an arm on his back and let him know that everything was fine.
“There were four trophies when we got here, and you knew the task,” he slowly continued. “You think of DMR [Dan Rooney], and being able to add to that room means a ton. But that doesn’t mean it’s over. The next step, I mean, we have to get more than that, and we’ll never lose that. But it means a lot”.
When Colbert was first hired in 2000, the Steelers hadn’t won a championship in decades, having become the first franchise to win three and then four Super Bowls. With Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, drafted in 2004, they claimed “one for the thumb” a year later, tying the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers for the most titles.
Three years later, they made NFL history again, becoming the first team to claim six Lombardis. It would be a while before the New England Patriots finally tied them, and to this day, there’s not a franchise left with more in their Super Bowl showcase.
Of course, the Steelers haven’t reached the Super Bowl since the 2010 season and haven’t returned to the conference finals since 2016. Indeed, that’s the last time they’ve even won a postseason game. . But Colbert and the organization sincerely hope they’ve left this roster with the foundational pieces that will allow his successor to claim Super Bowl number seven…and more.