It hasn’t been a week since reports surfaced that the Steelers were selecting Omar Khan as their new general manager to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Colbert. After his introductory press conference on Friday, Khan acknowledge that he had a lot of work to do, but also that there were not a lot of answers at this time as he had only been on the job for a couple days.
The fact that the NFL draft is complete and teams have 90-man rosters as they prepare for training camp in a couple months might have some thinking there is not a lot of work for a general manager at this time. While there are different times of the year where bigger issues are more pressing than others, it doesn’t mean that Omar Khan will get to take a six-week vacation while the players are away from the facility.
As a reminder of the importance of what the general manager is needing to tackle this time of year, here are the four most pressing task Steelers general manager Omar Khan is going to have to address as he steps into his new role.
Assembling the staff
This job is obvious and may even be close to complete. In Friday’s introductory press conference, Omar Khan announced the Steelers were hiring Andy Weidl and Sheldon White as well as promoting Dan Colbert within the department. While those exact titles were not listed at the time, they were announced later on Friday.
We have announced the following front office changes:— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 27, 2022
• Andy Weidl hired as assistant general manager
• Sheldon White hired as director of pro scouting
• Dan Colbert promoted to director of college scouting
Even with the announcement of these hires, there continues to be a trickle-down effect as there will need to be someone else hired in place of Dan Colbert within the scouting department. Additionally, Kevin Colbert may still be taking on a role in the Steelers front office which has yet to be defined. As with any change in leadership, there will continue to be tweaks in hirings and promotions within the department over the coming weeks.
Tweaking the roster
Although the Steelers have a complete 90-man of-season roster, one which Khan praised during his press conference, it doesn’t mean that the Steelers roster is a finished product. More than likely, there will be at least one player on the Steelers 53-man roster for Week 1 which is not currently on the 90-man offseason roster. In 2021 alone, the Steelers added two starters after minicamp, one in June with guard Trai Turner and one in August with the trade for Joe Schobert. Knowing that personnel changes on the team is a ever-changing thing, Khan has to be up-to-date on the latest moves and possibilities even as the Steelers enter the month of June.
While this likely would have been in his previous job description, I don’t look for a Omar Khan to hand off too much in terms of contracts. With players such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Diontae Johnson, and Chris Boswell in line for contract extensions before the beginning of the season, work on these things has likely already begun and will continue to happen all the way up to September. For the month of June, especially after minicamp, it’s not a popular time for contract extensions but it doesn’t mean that the work isn’t getting done. The Steelers have also historically polished off some contracts during OTAs and minicamp in years past, which leaves the door open for Khan to get something done in the coming weeks.
The 2023 draft
The NFL draft never stops. Even after the conclusion of the 2022 NFL draft and the time when teams scramble to sign undrafted free agents, there were still rookie minicamp at adjustments to the roster at that time. But even while all that was going on, preparation and planning for the 2023 draft is probably well underway. With coordinating scouts and determining prospects which the Steelers will want to get eyes on, with some being directly from Khan himself, that planning process will need to continue even with there being several months until the beginning of the college football season.
While there are plenty of other tasks which are likely to be addressed by new Steelers general manager Omar Khan, these are the four that stand out right away. So while Khan is enjoying landing his dream job, taking the time to appreciate the moment may be short-lived as there is plenty of work to be done. Just like when an NFL team wins the Super Bowl, there isn’t much time to enjoy it before they must start preparation for the next one.