Former Pittsburgh Steelers scout Mark Gorscak, moving on from the team after 28 years, was gracious enough to join Dave and me for about a 40-minute interview during Friday’s episode of The Terrible Podcast. If you haven’t yet listened, click here, and we’ll be writing about some of his most notable answers over the next couple of days.
We asked Gorscak to outline the differences between how GM Kevin Colbert ran the scouting process compared to how new GM Omar Khan handled things for the 2022-2023 draft cycle. Khan himself noted the process was largely the same but Gorscak pointed out a couple of changes.
“He just streamlined it, basically,” Gorscak told us. “I like analytics, but I like the nuggets of analytics. He added a lot of different things. You knew what ideal size and speed for the last 10 years were for every position. You knew when you went into stats, if they had ideal production or just average production or below average production. Just clues and keys of that fashion.”
The Steelers have expanded their analytics department in recent years, even in the final seasons of Colbert’s tenure. The team has two analytics staffers in Tosin Kazeem and Will Britt. Still, it’s no surprise to hear analytics became more readily available under Khan given his business background and Assistant GM Andy Weidl, who has spent time in Baltimore and Philadelphia, a pair of teams who value data.
Gorscak said Khan removed some of the redundancies to help speed up the process, though he still made sure the team was confident and correct in their information.
“Kevin was very meticulous,” Gorscak said. “Had a lot of checks, double checks, triple checks and all that stuff. And Omar eliminated that down to check and double-checked.”
Khan may have streamlined the numbers but he showed an old-school flair during the scouting cycle. He attended several college All-Star games, including the Hula Bowl, HBCU Combine, and Senior Bowl. After that, he attended seven Pro Days, about as many as you’ll see a GM make.
While Khan is a new face to the role, he’s hardly new to the organization. Hired on Valentine’s Day in 2001, Khan was molded by Western Pennsylvania natives like Ron Hughes and Colbert. Through his first full offseason as GM, Khan’s been praised for all his additions. A busy free agency that saw him churn the bottom half of Pittsburgh’s roster and a great draft haul top to bottom has earned him plenty of positive press. While Gorscak made sure to credit Colbert, he believes the Steelers are in good hands with Khan.
“Omar, he’s trending in the right direction,” Gorscak said. “He did a super job this year. Now time will tell what the future lies. All I know is what we did this year. And my big thing is I’m just trying to make the day a good yesterday. I ain’t worried about tomorrow.”