The Steelers Contend You Can Go Home Again

Assistant GM Andy Weidl is one of the latest in a long line of Pittsburgh guys who end up working for the home team.
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PHOTO BY MIKE PRISUTA

If they’re somehow able to win another Super Bowl, the Steelers’ seventh Lombardi Trophy will be, in a manner of speaking, homegrown.

Much as the first six have been.

That’s been a characteristic of the organization over the years, a part of the Steelers’ culture and DNA.

Traditionally, their front office has been populated by Pittsburgh guys, particularly in scouting and personnel.

There are a lot of those guys working all across the NFL; the region’s football culture keeps churning them out and they keep getting hired.

But there always seems to be a preponderance of them in Pittsburgh.

“That’s what makes it unique here,” offered new Assistant General Manager Andy Weidl.

Weidl is from Mt, Lebanon and took his first steps in the NFL as a scouting/personnel intern with the Steelers in the late 1990s, “Making airport runs, doing mail runs; whatever needed to be done, I did it.” He advanced through the ranks with the Saints, Ravens and Eagles (most recently in Philadelphia Weidl ran the draft meetings and set the draft board for the Eagles last spring) before returning to the Steelers this season.

When he was in the New Orleans, Baltimore and Philadelphia organizations, there weren’t a bunch of guys from New Orleans, Baltimore and Philly working with him.

“No, there weren’t,” Weidl confirmed.

Weidl’s brother Casey is also in his first season with the Steelers (scouting coordinator) after working previously for the Bills and Eagles (another brother, Kevin, is a college scout for the Ravens).

They’ve joined a staff dripping with Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania connections, one that includes:

Director of College Scouting Dan Colbert (Mars), Senior Scouting Assistant Kelvin Fisher (Ambridge), Assistant Director of Pro Scouting Dave Petett (Shady Side Academy), College Scout Mark Gorscak (Donora; he was Joe Montana’s center at Ringgold), and College Scout Mike Butler (son of Steelers Hall-of-Famer Jack Butler).

Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin is from Sharon.

Special Teams Coordinator Danny Smith (Central Catholic) is such a Pittsburgh guy he once worked for PennDOT.

And then there’s Director of Facilities Bob McCartney (South Hills).

McCartney, whose experiences include working in the ticket office and a decades-long run as the team’s film director, is entering his 49th season with the Steelers.

He has six Super Bowl rings.

The Steelers don’t hire Pittsburgh guys because they’re Pittsburgh guys.

But when all other things are equal, it’s a pretty good tie-breaker.

And it’s an association Pittsburgh guys understandably covet.

“I think it just means a little more,” Andy Weidl continued. “You know, you’re from here, you grew up here, your roots are here. You don’t want to disappoint. I feel that way, growing up here as a Steelers fan.

“We have to make sure we’re doing our part.”

Weidl was a part of Super Bowl-winning teams with the Ravens in 2012 and with the Eagles in 2017.

But if he gets another ring with the Steelers, he won’t consider it his third.

“We gotta get Number Seven,” Weidl emphasized. “We’re going to pour everything we have into it and go from there.”

From a Pittsburgh guy, we’d expect nothing less.

Categories: Mike Prisuta’s Sports Section