Colbert: No problem in Steelers' locker room
Kevin Colbert, General Manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers surveys a training camp practice in 2011 while safety Ryan Clark walks by behind him.
Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley knocks ball out of Giants quarterback Eli Mannings hands during a game last season.
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Kevin Colbert said today he is more disappointed a player would make an anonymous comment about LaMarr Woodley rather than in Woodley's performance itself in 2012, adding that there is no problem with discord in the Steelers locker room.
"Whether you win the Super Bowl or go 8-8, there's no 100 percent harmonious locker room," Colbert said today at the NFL combine. "I don't care where it is. That's exemplified more when you're 8-8. Quite honestly, I'm not concerned about our locker room.
Coach [Mike] Tomlin and I had an opportunity to speak to our players since the season ended. We have a very good finger on the pulse of where we stand. From a team standpoint, we're comfortable with that."
A quote from an anonymous Steelers player in Sunday's Post-Gazette criticized Woodley's lack of conditioning and said he was "awful" in 2012. Woodley had only four sacks -- his fewest since his rookie season -- and missed several games because of hamstring and ankle injuries.
"I was bothered by the fact it was an anonymous comment," Colbert said. "I don't believe any comments made about LaMarr Woodley. LaMarr Woodley has been a significant player on very successful teams and we're happy he's part of our team.
"If you talk to LaMarr, he'll be the first to tell you he was disappointed in his performance. Going forward, he's going to try to erase that season. I don't give any credence to any comment that's not attributed to a player. That's a bigger disappointment to me than anything LaMarr Woodley did or didn't do."
Colbert, speaking to a small group of Pittsburgh reporters after addressing the national media, said the Steelers will not make any decision on any of their own free agents until they return from the combine, which began today and runs through Tuesday.
He said part of those decisions will be based on evaluations the Steelers make on players at the combine. But he disputed the notion they are a team in transition, saying that implies they are a team that does not think they can win the Super Bowl. "And we never think that," Colbert said
"I don't view our team as old. Sure, we have players who are old, but we have a lot of young guys who are ready to take the next step. We'll find out where they all stand after free agency and after the draft."
Colbert said he would not talk individually about players who won't be re-signed or offered contracts. But he did say, "I do know this, we won't be able to sign everybody."
And he promised again there will be changes. What's more, he did not try to put a positive spin on the season.
"There's a fine line between winning and losing, but in my mind we were 8-8, and I know we were 8-8," Colbert said. "From our standpoint, we have to approach it that way.
"We have to change things, first to get in compliance with the cap, which we'll do by march 13. And then we have to be open to improve this team any way we can. Coming out of this process, we'll have a better idea where we stand."
First Published February 21, 2013 2:04 pm