Some excerpts from Kevin Colbert’s 15-minute conference call with reporters attending the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix:
1. The Steelers liked defensive lineman Tyson Alualu when he entered the NFL draft seven years ago. Alualu joined the Steelers last week, signing a two-year contract.
Said Colbert: “He can provide us depth and competition at both end and nose tackle, moreso as an inside pass rusher and in most of the sub-rush stuff, even though he has rushed some from the outside. … Veteran defensive linemen that can play both in and out are valuable. The type of player and person he is, he hasn’t had success from a team standpoint that he hoped to achieve. So I think he is excited about getting into our environment.”
2. The signing of RB/KR Knile Davis doesn’t signal the end for DeAngelo Williams with the Steelers, but it seems unlikely the veteran running back will return.
Colbert noted that Davis “has a lot of football left in him. His age, his size, his speed and his kick return production were very interesting to us. Does that mean the door is closed on DeAngelo? Again, I will never shut that door completely until we have to, and that’s when we reach that 90-man (roster) limit.”
3. The Steelers, by the way, have 81 players under contract, more than any other NFL team. That leaves room for eight draft picks and one rookie free agent. Which means the Steelers likely will shed some players on the bottom of the roster to add to the rookie free-agent class after completion of the draft.
4. Because of the NFL combine starting a week later, the NFL annual meeting also was pushed back, and that forced Colbert to make a decision. He opted to attend some college pro days this week rather than spend three days in Arizona at the annual meeting.
“Every time we go to a pro day or visit a player here or on campus, you learn something,” Colbert said. “That’s why it’s important to get to as many as you can. That’s the reason I’m not at the owners’ meetings. … It ran up against some pretty significant pro days. We made the decision that it’s more important for me to be out at these pro days because every time we go to one of these, we learning something news. Even if we scouted the kid throughout the whole fall, and we saw him at the Senior Bowl and the Combine, every exposure gives us an opportunity to learn something that we didn’t know (prior).”
— Joe Rutter