GM Colbert: Steelers are not old or in transition
By Alan Robinson
INDIANAPOLIS — General manager Kevin Colbert says the Steelers aren't a divided, too-old or in-transition team despite their disappointing 8-8 record last season.
Speaking on the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine, Colbert disagreed with wide receiver Antonio Brown's comments to ESPN that the Steelers locker room wasn't harmonious because some players were more focused on individual than team goals.
“Whether you win a Super Bowl or finish 8-8, there's not a 100 percent harmonious locker room,” Colbert said Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium. “Quite honestly, I'm not concerned about our locker room. Coach (Mike) Tomlin and I have had the opportunity to speak to our players, sometimes more than once, since the season ended. We have a very good finger on the pulse of where we stand from a team standpoint, and we're comfortable with that.”
Colbert also denied were the Steelers were a team in transition due to the large number of free agents who could depart and a roster that's filled with players who are 30 or older, especially on defense.
“I don't know what the roster is going to look like March 13 or in April, I don't know what it will at that point,” Colbert said. “Sure we have some old players, but they're significant players, they wouldn't be with us (otherwise). But we have a lot of young guys who are ready to take the next step if it's their turn.”
Colbert also said:
>> He wouldn't discuss any specific player, whether it's a prospective free agent or any player who might be drafted. He addressed a question about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o generically, saying the Steelers closely evaluate all prospective players on and off the field.
>> Inside linebacker Sean Spence, his rookie season wiped out by a serious preseason knee injury, isn't fully back but is making progress.
>> In reference to tight end Heath Miller, he won't count on any player who has had an ACL-related injury until a year later. Miller was hurt in December. Colbert said the same thing last year about running back Rashard Mendenhall.
>> He is open to drafting at any position in any round of the draft.
Colbert is the only Steelers official who will speak at the Combine. While some other NFL coaches will talk during the weekend, Tomlin will not.