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Jets GM search will include interview with Steelers' Omar Khan

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The winds of change eventually erode away every coaching and player roster over time. Sometimes, unexpected gusts force their way into front offices. Breezes are quickly becoming gale-force in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Zelevansky

The Steelers certainly have enough to deal with this off-season, with vacancies to fill along the roster and the coaching ranks.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Wednesday evening Pittsburgh Steelers director of football and business administrations Omar Khan will meet with the New York Jets ownership on Thursday to discuss their general manager vacancy, created when the Jets fired former general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Tannenbaum and Khan are very similar types, as they are both considered to be more number-cruncher than talent-evaluator. Khan has been the mastermind balancing the Steelers budget as GM Kevin Colbert's right-hand man.

The Jets roster, which had become a perennial AFC contender under a newly signed head coach Rex Ryan, has become a disaster. Draft busts and overvalued contracts have quickly drug the Jets below mediocrity.

According to Florio, the Jets originally wanted to replace Tannenbaum with a "football guy", but had no success finding one to meet their elevated expectations. Evidently, if the Jets are going to be stuck going with a mathematician, they have decided they want one from an organization which exhibits tendencies of consistent draft success and player development. Based on the fact an interview is scheduled, the Jets must feel the Steelers fit such a description.

While the Jets would prefer to have someone like Pittsburgh's GM Colbert, but the Steelers are quite fond of Mr. Colbert and are not likely to allow any other team to steal him away. Colbert doesn't seem to be in any hurry to leave Pittsburgh, either. So, if the Jets are going to get their hands on a piece of the Steelers front office, they will try to settle for the next best thing to Colbert - Mr. Kahn.

Rumors about an interview which may, or may not, have actually taken place between the Arizona Cardinals and Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley about their head coaching vacancy, have already been swirling through Heinz Field. Offensive line coach Sean Kugler is leaving the team to become the head coach at UTEP. Several high-priced veterans and fan favorite players are staring down their own gallows. Possibilities of yet another shift taking place, now in the front office, will only intensify the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Khan has not been quoted as necessarily wanting the Jets job specifically, but it is completely understandable why he would apply and interview for an opportune position, or possibly accept any potential deals they might offer him. Promotions are usually the goals career-minded folks set for themselves. Unfortunately, this promotion requires Khan to fix the Jets organization, a seemingly impossible task.

Florio points out the Jets may end up stripping some of the power previously associated with their GM position and giving it to Ryan - primarily talent evaluation and selection responsibilities - because they were unable to find a GM candidate whom they felt comfortable enough to give such power to.

Perhaps Khan may decide to remain in Pittsburgh as Colbert's second-in-command, rather than accept the daunting task awaiting him in New York. To succeed would validate Khan's ability as a GM in the NFL on his own merits. To fail could damage his professional reputation and connections with his current employer.

While all would wish him the best personally, every person associated with the Steelers organization will be praying Khan oversleeps and misses his scheduled interview time.