Steelers G.M. looking for bright side to Scouting Combine changes

Darin Gantt

People on the football side of the football business aren’t known for embracing change happily.

But they also know that the business side of the football business has created a new dynamic for this year’s Scouting Combine, so they know there’s only so much they can do.

Via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert tried to make the best of the switch to on-field drills switching to late afternoon and nighttime slots, when they used to begin around 9 a.m. The NFL made the change this year to create more television inventory, giving that precedence over the scouting function.

Everything that is happening is new for all of us,” Colbert said. “Everyone has to adjust. It’s a bigger event. As you can see, it is growing at an unusual pace. We understand that, and we acknowledge that. But we also acknowledge that football is the most important thing we have to get done here. There’s a ton of medical business, football business, character business that we have to tend to while (the Combine) grows.

“We understand that it can grow, but we understand that there will be changes that we have to be able to work through and make it the best Combine we can be.”

For players, it means an extra day in Indianapolis, and a chance to perform in prime time rather than in the middle of the morning.

“And most of them will be performing in a prime-time slot, which they are going to be asked to do in September when they start playing football games,” Colbert said. “You don’t play a football game at nine in the morning unless your body is over in London. It is more realistic for what they are going to be doing.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what being a good solider sounds like, as any kind of rationalization beyond “it’s about the money and we know there’s nothing we can do about it” would be insincere.