“When you’re 8-8, I don’t think we had too many franchise players,” he said.
Colbert has some sense of what the free agent market will look like, but the Steelers have rarely made a splashy signing in the spring. They prefer to build through the draft, and Colbert said there are no positions that are off limits. That includes perhaps looking for someone early in the draft to serve as a backup to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed three games this season with a sprained shoulder and dislocated rib.
“We won’t close the door on any position in any round,” Colbert said. “We can’t.”
Yet he understands the team can ill afford to make the kind of errors it made last spring. The Steelers took nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu in the fourth round and running back Chris Rainey in the fifth.
Ta’amu was suspended, cut then re-signed to the practice squad following his arrest on multiple felony charges stemming from a chase through Pittsburgh’s South Side district in October. Rainey was released last week hours after being charged with domestic battery during a confrontation with his girlfriend in Florida.
Colbert said Rainey lost the trust of the organization, which is why he was let go.
“We understood the risk and took it and quite honestly in a couple of situations it didn’t work out,” he said.
After narrowly escaping the franchise’s first losing season in nearly a decade, Colbert knows the Steelers need to find some help in the draft. And in free agency. And wherever else they can get a boost.
“It can change very quickly,” Colbert said. “It has to change for our sake.”
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