- Can he cover AB?: During the NFL Scouting Combine Steelers General Manager was asked about drafting bigger cornerbacks and he said the one question they often ask when evaluating a cornerback is, 'Could he cover Antonio Brown?' He said the key factor isn't always size, but it's about the athletic ability and complete package the cornerback brings to the table, something he explained further during Monday's pre-draft press conference at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
"I think confidence is a huge part of a cornerback," said Colbert. "They will get beat. They will make plays. The ability to have those and overcome those times when they get beat, usually in the same game, and come back and make a play, especially a key play in a key situation, is very important. When we say cover Antonio, we always talk about that in our analogies, but that's a difficult task for a lot of NFL cornerbacks. We are usually just talking amongst ourselves when we say that. If they can cover who we think is the best, he is going to have a good chance. We use that as an analogy. Whether or not they can or can't, we won't find out until we get them here. But I think beyond physical talents, mental makeup and confidence is huge."
- No holes here: Colbert was asked about the difference in drafting players to build depth on the roster, versus the approach when drafting to fill holes on the roster. But in his opinion, the holes don't exist.
"The holes are in the eye of the beholder," said Colbert. "I am sure you are talking about the secondary. In my eyes, we have some good players back there. They were good enough to get us one step away from the AFC Championship game. Some of those guys have moved on.
"We have some good players in the secondary. We want to enhance it. We want to add more good players. Guys like William Gay and Stephon Tuitt, those guys stepped up in some key situations and did some good things for us. We lost a few guys in free agency. So we want to go out and be able to add some more, quite frankly. This draft will give us that opportunity at some point."
At least it's consistent: Kevin Colbert knows how many times the question has been asked. Once, that is once every year he has been with the Steelers, which is now 17. And the question…who is in charge on draft day. And the answer, it's been the same every year.
"It's our pick," said Colbert. "Again, you may think we agree all the time, and that's not true. We can't agree all the time. We have different opinions. But collectively, we spend literally a month and probably a month before that gathering the information and a month separating the information. We have a lot of discussions. We have disagreements, but when we talk it through, talk it through with the room, talk it through with our scouts, talk it through with our coaches, talk it through with our owners, we'll come together and that will be it. It's really a collective pick. That's as true as it can get. It's never been different than that. But we may have to come to a decision and we'll do that. We've had disagreements. Even before Coach Tomlin was here, Coach (Bill) Cowher and I went through the same process, and it really hasn't changed. And it was probably like that before I was here when Coach Noll and Art Rooney Jr. put it together.
"It's always been a Steelers pick, and it always will be a Steelers pick."