On Saturday February 26 the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have interviewed three more candidates for their forthcoming general manager vacancy, which will officially come open when current G.M. Kevin Colbert steps aside following the 2022 NFL Draft.
As noted by Heavy’s Steelers G.M. Interview Tracker, this brings the total number of candidates to 13, if you include ESPN commentator Louis Riddick, who was reported to have scheduled an interview with the Steelers, yet the team has not confirmed that the interview took place.
Regardless, the trio of candidates announced on February 26 are an especially intriguing bunch.
Joe Hortiz (Ravens)
Joe Hortiz, 46, is notable because he’s a Philadelphia native who has been a part of the Baltimore Ravens’ organization for nearly a quarter-century, working his way up from being a scout to the director of player personnel position he holds today. Hortiz recently interviewed for the New York Giants’ general manager job, but saw it go to Joe Schoen, who had been the assistant general manager of the Buffalo Bills.
Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta recently had this to say about Hortiz:
“…Joe is smart, he’s a great evaluator, he’s got a strong voice. He’s always been, kind of, my sidekick…. I think Joe has a great career [ahead of him]. He’ll be a G.M. someday. A smart team is going to hire him. He’s got a great skill set, he’s a great collaborator, he’s got a great eye for talent…
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Ran Carthon (49ers)
Equally compelling is Ran Carthon, 41, who is the director of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers and the youngest of the newest group of candidates. Carthon is the son of former New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts fullback Maurice Carthon, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants between 1985-91 and finished his career with the Colts in 1992.
Ran Carthon had a short NFL playing career in his own right, appearing in nine games for the Colts between 2005-06 after playing running back at the University of Florida. He finished his career with 16 carries for 22 yards and two touchdowns, plus one reception for 10 yards. He also returned seven kickoffs for 113 yards, an average of 16.1 yards per return.
According to NFL writer Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com, Carthon has been interested in scouting and personnel since his days with the Gators.
“While at Florida, when NFL coaches would come for Pro Days, Carthon had the opportunity to sit with them and observe how they broke down film of prospects,” offered Stapleton, noting that after Colts executive Bill Polian signed Carthon as an undrafted free agent, stories emerged “of how the two would watch tape of prospects when Polian realized Carthon’s interests in that part of the game.”
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Andy Weidl (Eagles)
Last but not least, there’s Andy Weidl, a Pittsburgh native and a graduate of Villanova who started his NFL career with the Steelers as a player personnel assistant in 1998-99. That gave him the opportunity to learn from former Steelers director of football operations Tom Donahoe, as well as Pro Football Hall of Fame scout Bill Nunn, aka ‘The Dynasty Builder.’
Weidl went on to work as a scout for the New Orleans Saints, before getting hired by the Ravens and spending 11 years in Baltimore, where “he learned how to develop relationships on the road and dig for details on college prospects,” wrote Jeff McLane in the Philadelphia Inquirer in April 2020. “He learned the significance of culture and of finding those who match those characteristics. And he learned how to fervently advocate for players that he felt could be future Ravens.
“It’s not so much about acquiring talent. It’s building a team,” Weidl told McLane. “You just can’t bring anybody into the locker room. It’s got to be a certain type of fit to the culture that your team’s about.”
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