Kevin Colbert Feels Better About The Steelers Now Than A Year Ago

The GM Offers Some Early Off-Season Thoughts

Eric Hagman
February 13, 2020 - 4:15 pm
Kevin Colbert

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Speaking publicly for the first time since last summer’s training camp, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday that even though Ben Roethlisberger is coming off elbow surgery he has a better feeling about the team than he did after the 2018 season.

“It’s just the way I feel about the group that’s coming back,” Colbert said during an informal session with local reporters.  “I can say this.  We’re all disappointed at 8-8, but I feel better moving into 2020 than I did coming off 9-6-1.  I think our defense is better (than a year ago).  I feel optimistic we’ll have Ben back, and I hope the health kicks backs back in for James Conner, Vance McDonald and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Next week, Roethlisberger is to have his elbow examined, and Colbert said so far, so good.

“All signs are good at this point, and we’re hopeful he can make a complete recovery.  As of right now, he’s on schedule for that, and where it goes from here it remains to be seen.

Colbert said he hopes Conner can regain his health and believes that when healthy Conner is a number one running back.  He views the other backs on the roster as complementary.

Colbert touched on numerous other subjects.

  • He has a good idea where things stand with placing the franchise tag on linebacker Bud Dupree.
  • Not knowing the salary cap yet, he’s only guessing at this time what they will be able to do free agent-wise.
  • Ryan Shazier is still technically on the roster.  Discussions will continue regarding his status.
  • Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges did a “representable job” after Roethlisberger was injured.  He won’t rule out Paxton Lynch and J.T. Barrett as potential backup quarterbacks.
  • His scouts have watched and will continue to watch players in the XFL
  • He all but ruled out working for another organization.  After recently signing a new one-year contract, Colbert said “as long as the Rooneys and the Pittsburgh Steelers want me to be part of this organization and it’s a good thing for our family, we’ll be here.  I’m not looking to go anywhere else as long as the Rooneys and the Steelers are interested in me.”

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