The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with a lot of change this offseason.
It was expected, but still remains a shock when it all becomes a reality.
First up was the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger.
That alone is enough of a story to carry the offseason news cycle in Pittsburgh.
But things took a step further Friday when the team announced GM Kevin Colbert will be stepping down after this year’s NFL Draft.
#Steelers announce that GM Kevin Colbert will step down after the 2022 NFL Draft. Expected, but now official.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 28, 2022
This is another monumental change as Colbert has been in the Pittsburgh front office since 2000.
Change keeps on coming and the NFL world is reacting to the latest news coming out of Pittsburgh.
Keith Butler reties, Big Ben retires, & now Kevin Colbert is stepping down…for as bad as I want Juju to stay in Pittsburgh, I hope he goes somewhere where his talents will be put to use…it would be a disservice to him to waste his prime years while the Steelers rebuild https://t.co/OUxtl0hWZI
— Lauren Bell (@laurenbell1210) January 28, 2022
NFL World Reacts To Colbert Stepping Down
A lot of the reaction from Steelers fans is that of gratitude toward Colbert.
He built the team into a consistent winner and deserves a ton of credit for a losing season being such a rarity in Pittsburgh.
What a CAREER by KC! Kevin Colbert is a first ballot HOF he might be in there with Ben too! #HereWeGo CONGRATS KC!
— 🅿️lain & Simple: Steelers! (@PandSsteelers) January 28, 2022
What a career for Kevin Colbert. He did a phenomenal job with the #Steelers.
— Blitzburgh✨ (@Blitz_Burgh) January 28, 2022
Not just one of the most respected; Kevin Colbert is one of the truly genuinely KINDEST people in this game. The #Steelers GM has long said he’ll stay as long as Ben Roethlisberger does and so… https://t.co/LMKk0xAMDC
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) January 9, 2022
The remainder of the reaction has to do with speculating how the Steelers will move forward.
They could opt to go with an internal candidate, or even conduct a wide-ranging search for their next GM.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert will step down at the end of the draft per Art Rooney. Steelers already interviewed Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt. Will interview outside people as well but Rooney said it's not a hurry to replace Colbert. Colbert will run things through draft.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) January 28, 2022
AR2 on Brandon Hunt: “Brandon, number one, he started out with us. We trained him, Kevin [Colbert] trained him. He knows the Steelers' way. He spent time in Houston, so it’s not like he hasn’t been outside these walls. I think that was some good experience for him." #Steelers
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) January 28, 2022
Rooney's comments about Brandon Hunt and Kevin Colbert then potentially staying are pretty telling to me. If Colbert stays in a VP role and he "trained Brandon", I would say we all know what direction this is going in. #Steelers
— Thomas Roper (@tomroper87) January 28, 2022
Teams all around the NFL are searching for the consistency found within the Steelers organization.
But fans in Pittsburgh are now left wondering if it will continue with a new decision-maker and a new man under center.
The first task for whoever takes over will be finding a great option at quarterback to avoid any sense of a rebuild or reset on offense.
Feels like the end of an era in Pittsburbgh. Colbert and Roethlisberger gone, brave new world in the Steel City. And they have new challengers to fend off in Buffalo, LA, Kansas City and Cincy, while perennial challengers, New England, Baltimlore, Indianapolis hang around
— Tayyib Abu (@TayyibAbu1) January 28, 2022
Just like far too many Steelers fans failed to appreciate Ben Roethlisberger during most of his career and often fail to appreciate Mike Tomlin, there are far too many people failing to appreciate Kevin Colbert as his tenure comes to an end.
— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) January 28, 2022
The Steelers will go into next season without Ben Roethlisberger and Kevin Colbert, two of the big pieces in the run they’ve been on. Lots of changes coming for the Steelers. I assume the GM spot stays internal but the QB spot cannot.
— Jared (@JaredLankes) January 9, 2022
Steelers fans may be in for a rude awakening in 2022 after so many years of expecting a postseason berth.
This is a fanbase not used to change and they are going to get a lot of it here in the next few months.