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Steelers GM Colbert visits Sewickley Men's Club

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, left, and coach Mike Tomlin aren't tipping their hands going into the NFL Draft.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The members of the Sewickley Men's Club made it clear last Friday at the Sewickley YMCA that they enjoy three things: coffee, donuts and football.

After indulging in the first two, the 83 members present for the recent gathering were treated to a presentation by Kevin Colbert, the general manager of the Steelers.

Colbert has become somewhat of a familiar face among the group, as Friday was his third time talking talking to the Sewickley Men's Club since being appointed as GM in 2000.

Although he makes speaking appearances at various church groups and summer camps during his offseasons, he especially likes talking to the Sewickley Men's Club because roughly 85 percent of the members are war veterans, he said.

“These are not only football fans, but it's a very veteran-laden group,” Colbert said. “If you get a small chance to give back in some way, to me it's a great opportunity to do that.”

Colbert took the time to thank the veterans for their time spent serving in the military, an experience he never had.

“I guess I can say I was fortunate that the selection process for the draft ended in 1974 when I graduated high school, because I was A-1, and I would have been drafted pretty high and gone to serve in Vietnam,” Colbert said. “Part of me almost regrets that, because I think there's a void in my life that you people who did serve don't have.”

Before beginning his presentation, Colbert led the group in a moment of silence in honor of the recent passing of former Steelers coach Chuck Noll.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers, the Western Pennsylvania region and the National Football League lost a great member in Coach Noll,” Colbert said. “Driving into Sewickley I couldn't help but think of Coach Noll, because he lived here a long time.

“When the Rooney family hired Coach Noll, I think they hired someone they could trust with everything — not only their product on the field, but the type of player and the type of organization that was going to show well off the field.”

Although he didn't have a close relationship with Noll, Colbert has been affected in various ways by Noll's legacy, including his desire to be involved in the community.

“The people that he worked with and the people that worked for him, the stories that they told about Coach Noll and the lessons that they passed on from him to us, you can never sell that short,” Colbert said, “because that's when it all started.”

After showing a video on the Steelers' 2013 season, Colbert gave the lifelong fans a chance to act as the media. He fielded football-related questions for more than 15 minutes.

Following back-to-back disappointing seasons, he assured the group of Steelers faithful that the team is working hard to recapture its winning ways.

“We've been 8-8 for two years in a row, and that's something that really eats at us,” Colbert said. “The standard is a Super Bowl championship, and until we get back to that point, we're not going to rest.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @GHorvath_Trib.




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