For over four months, I have been compiling a document full of articles, press conferences, and draft data in an effort to create a profile for the general manager/head coach tandems in the NFL. To my pleasant surprise, the post-draft press conferences, especially, have become an invaluable resource to me in creating these profiles. In these interviews, the decision makers are more candid than at any other time in the draft process. You pick up on certain themes and buzz words that are used, and you can start to form a better picture of what the teams saw in a particular player.
I fully expect these profiles to be dynamic in nature, since together we are always gaining further insight into the draft process. If you find a great article, or have made an observation, it will be my pleasure to consider it for inclusion in this series of profiles.
If you missed the previous article in the series of draft profiles:
To continue with the team draft profiles, how about we pore over the Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft profile.
The Tandem And Their Football Scheme
General Manager: Kevin Colbert
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin
Offensive Scheme: West Coast, zone running scheme
Defensive Scheme: 3-4, zone blitz
- Very physical
-Explosive athletes in the back seven of defense
-Length and power, especially in the linemen
- ability to affect the run game
-high level of production
-Attracted to big-school prospects, especially those coming from Texas, Ohio State, and Florida
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Preferred Measurables (By Position)
Arm Length (inches)
40 Yd. Dash
|Defensive End||6-4||298||34 1/8*||4.98|
|Nose Tackle**||6-3 1/2||328||33 1/8||5.16|
|Inside Linebacker||6-2||234||32 3/4||4.71|
|Safety||5-11 1/2*||214*||Insufficient Data||4.52|
|Offensive Tackle||6-5||318||33 3/4||5.42|
|Wide Receiver||6-1||200||31 7/8*||4.46|
|Running Back||5-11 ||223||31 1/4||4.54|
|Tight End||6-3||258||32 3/4*||4.83*|
* indicates small data pool
** indicates large variation in data pool
Position Specific Traits
Running back: power and toughness prioritized over top speed and agility
Wide Receiver: elite speed is a big deal
Tight End: size and blocking ability
Offensive Tackle: arm length, dominant run blockers, 40 time not heavily emphasized
Defensive End: arm length, ability to play with power
Outside Linebacker: explosiveness, elite vertical leap, “undersized” rushers
Cornerback: speed, tackling, size
Safety: short, agile, and lightning fast, aggressive tacklers
It may seem anticlimactic, but the Steelers’ organization is the NFL’s quintessential model of stability. The heads of this organization have established a Steeler way of doing things, and they seldom stray from that ideal. The franchise has had the same head coach since 2007, and have a GM who has led the team since 2002. Under the care of Kevin Colbert, the Steelers have continued their practice of truly building the team through the draft, using rounds 1 through 7 (and beyond) to help maintain excellence.
As with other successful organizations, Pittsburgh is constantly grooming future starters, giving them the time needed to develop their craft. But they are also savvy in knowing which players are truly “franchise guys.”
I have yet to definitively answer the question about where the Steelers fall on the philosophy spectrum. They currently seem to fit somewhere between the two poles, one being the height, weight, speed camp (ala New England Patriots) and the production/leadership camp (Arizona Cardinals). For the time being, we can call them a “combo.” They do have specific physical traits at certain positions, especially in their big men, but they will gladly step outside that box for a player who demonstrates rare football skills (example: Jarvis Jones).
While finding where they fit best on the spectrum eludes me, the Pittsburgh Steelers value the right attitude a whole lot (toughness, intensity, tenacity). And that is abundantly clear.
Additional sources of information on Patriots’ draft profile:
On 2013 Draft
On 2012 Draft
On 2011 Draft