Big changes afoot for Steelers?
January 16th, 2013
By Dejan Kovacevic
Just met with Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ GM, at the team headquarters on the South Side, along with a handful of other reporters.
Our Alan Robinson has full news coverage, so I’ll just share a few thoughts here …
>> Maybe you had to be in that office, but I didn’t get the sense Colbert was set on status quo heading into this offseason. Far from it, actually.
He’s not the type to divulge details, to put it mildly, but the way he answered a few of the various questions — repeated references to the “61 players we have” not being good enough, quick references to “terminations,” being open to using money from terminations to even (gasp) look at free agency — let’s just say he sounded like he was setting the stage for significant change.
Could be wrong. Just sharing.
>> I asked Colbert about LaMarr Woodley, and he pointed, as others have on the record, to Woodley’s “results” rather than his conditioning.
“I believe the effort was there,” Colbert said.
I also asked if Woodley should or could get lighter, and Colbert responded that he’s “always been a big guy.” So that didn’t get much further.
Colbert also told me, “I’ll bet if you ask LaMarr, he’d be the first to tell you he was disappointed with how his season went.”
Uh, tried that. Didn’t exactly work.
>> Goodbye, Rashard Mendenhall.
Let there be no doubt on that one. He burned every bridge there was to burn by not showing up for work that one Sunday.
>> It won’t be goodbye for the rest of the running backs, but I’d rent rather than buy if I’m Jonathan Dwyer and/or Isaac Redman. Colbert tried as hard as he could to steer specific questions into generalities, but he left no doubt who was mostly to blame for the 26th-ranked rushing offense.
“It was indicative of the talent at the position,” Colbert said.
>> I’ve got a slightly different feeling for the disciplinary handlings of Chris Rainey and Alameda Ta’amu than when I walked into that room, but not by much. If Rainey’s act was significant enough to “break the trust,” as Colbert put it, so was Ta’amu’s.
There were repeated references, actually, to “trust” as it relates to Rainey. I’m only guessing here, but if being honest or forthcoming is the tiebreaker here, sorry, but that’s not enough to excuse Ta’amu’s terribly reckless actions.
>> An actual quarterback as a draft pick?
Wow, can’t even picture it. But it’s probably well past time. Ben Roethlisberger will be 31 in two months. Charlie Batch will be 91. Can’t just have a couple of guys holding a clipboard anymore.
>> My thanks to Colbert and the Steelers for the session. It was as candid and forthcoming as is reasonable under the circumstances of running a team, and it was as honest as I’ve come to expect from this team.
I’m tempted to go through my tape and count up how many times Colbert spat out the term “8-8″ in this 34-minute session. Had to be close to 50. No kidding.
These guys get sickened by losing.