Gil Brant is the former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys and a current NFL analyst. At 83 years of age, he has certainly seen his share of coaches and players, so it was high praise when Brandt complimented Mike Tomlin's hands-on approach to talent acquisition.
Recently, Brandt told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"Tomlin has the best attitude. I said, 'Coach, you're everywhere.' He said, 'Gil, I can't find any players sitting on my chair in my office.' The guy is very accommodating. At Baylor, for example, a bunch of people wanted to take his picture and everything. I'll say this, the Steelers work, they're out there everywhere. The head coach, the GM and some places they have Keith Butler and four other coaches with them."
The Steelers don't just have current coaches and front-office personnel evaluating potential draft picks, they have even brought along a former legendary player to meet with prospects. In March, "Mean" Joe Greene took Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings to dinner. Green knows a thing or two about talent. In addition to being a Hall of Fame defensive tackle, he was also a member of the Steelers player personnel department until 2013.
Gil Brandt isn't the only one praising the Steelers ability to find star talent. Last year, Kevin Colbert was the subject of a Forbes.com profile last year in which Jerry Barca wrote, "Across all sports, Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers is one of the best at what he does, running a team."
Colbert shed light on his team's process, noting that a lot of the hard work starts well before the Combine and Pro Days. He said, via Forbes.com, "The work that the scouts did from August through December is the most critical."
On April 28, fans will find out whom Tomlin, Colbert, and the team's hard-working scouts deemed worth of the Steelers top draft pick. Until then, we can count on the Steelers working hard to make sure their first-pick is an asset to the team.