Steelers’ Colbert would take character ‘risk’ again
Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert during the predraft press conference on the South Side April 23, 2012
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013
In a year when fourth-round pick Alameda Ta‘amu was arrested for leading police on a drunken driving chase through the South Side and fifth-round pick Chris Rainey was cut after police charged him with slapping his girlfriend, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said the organization won‘t shy away from players with character issues in the NFL Draft.
Colbert told TribLive Radio on Friday it would be unrealistic to enter the draft process eliminating players who are labeled as having character issues.
“Does that mean that you are not going to look at guys who have risk?” Colbert said. “No, I think that is unrealistic because a lot of the guys in the draft pool do have character challenges. It is up to us to assess that and determine if we want to take the risk. If we do, we have to be ready not only if the player does well but the consequences if it doesn‘t work.”
Colbert disagreed with the perception that the organization‘s decision to release Rainey but keep Ta‘amu was based on talent alone.
“The only thing I can point to is our draft preparations,” Colbert said. “We do homework on players, and we will reject significant players. I am talking about first-round talents that (we) decide we don‘t want to assume the risk if they do have a character issue. But when we do assume the risk, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn‘t. Obviously, we had two cases this year that didn‘t work for us, and that falls on me because I am the guy who said we can assume this risk.”
The Steelers took tackle Mike Adams off their draft board last year after he tested positive for marijuana during the NFL Scouting Combine. However, after Adams made a trip to Pittsburgh to talk to Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers put Adams back on their board, and they ended up drafting him in the second round.
Obviously, we had two cases this year that didn‘t work for us, and that falls on me because I am the guy who said we can assume this risk.”
Ta'amu is still a Steeler....
For right now. Depending on the legal stuff, draft, and maybe camp he may not be. Something everyone over looks it seems with the two players who had issues. Everyone has seen a full season of Rainey and it was determined his play was not worth the continued risk. Ben and Harrison both were worth the continued risk with there issues. Ta'amu on the edge right now but as of today is worth the continued risk being a 4th rd pick with upside. Cedrick Wilson the WR that had issues a few years back that again the Steelers had seen enough that he was not worth the issues. Mike Adams is another. I am sure is on a "shorter" rope. Not sure how short depends on how his play on the field grades out and he is a 2nd rd pick. But he needs to keep his nose VERY clean also. It is not that hard to understand I don't think.
Good things Vs Bad things of that player = stay or cut. With the added +/- if others are being problems also. Rainey might have got a 2nd chance with the steelers if Ta'amu had not spilled the milk.