First Call: Steelers GM candidate is getting a second interview, others may be looking elsewhere

A well-known Pittsburgh name is getting a second look in the hiring process to replace Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert while some of their other candidates may be heading elsewhere.

An interesting free agent cornerback has hit the NFL’s open market. Pierre McGuire is in need of a new hockey job. And Florida draws even with Washington in the NHL Playoffs.

All that in Tuesday’s “First Call.”


family face

Another name is being linked to a second general manager interview with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It’s Pitt alum Doug Whaley. That’s according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Whaley was a pro personnel coordinator under outgoing general manager Kevin Colbert for 10 years. The Upper St. Clair product became assistant general manager and director of pro personnel of the Buffalo Bills in 2010, before taking the franchise’s GM job in 2013.

Whaley held that post until April 2017 when he was relieved of his duties. Since then, he has spent the 2018 season as a recruiter for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and is now the vice president of player personnel of the XFL. He also appears on WPXI’s “Final Word” on Sunday nights.

Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden and Tampa Bay Buccaneers vice president of player personnel John Spytek are also reportedly in line for second conversations.


As for some others …

Meanwhile, some of the Steelers’ other candidates are getting interest down the turnpike.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles over the weekend. The franchise is also planning to speak with Morocco Brown. He is the Indianapolis Colts director of scouting.

Brown interviewed for the Steelers general manager job. He was also a candidate for the Chicago Bears GM job before they hired Ryan Poles.

Current Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is reconfiguring his front office. As the ProFootballTalk post points out, eight Philadelphia front office employees have either been dismissed or left jobs of their own decision in recent weeks.


Opening task

One issue facing the new Steelers general manager will be to improve the team’s depth at cornerback. Somebody that might help just hit the market.

The Giants have released James Bradberry. The 6-foot-1, 212-pound cornerback was a Pro Bowler in 2020. But his salary cap hit is more than $21 million. The space that such a move will create could be more than $10 million, according to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan.

With Joe Haden still unsigned, the current Steelers cornerback depth chart features Cameron Sutton, Levi Wallace, Ahkello Witherspoon, James Pierre, Arthur Maulet and Justin Layne.

Not a lot of star power, to say the least.

But NFC East rivals of New York — the Washington Commanders and Philadelphia Eagles — are already being rumored as potential destinations.


short run

Former Penguins assistant coach and longtime hockey personality Pierre McGuire is out of a job.

Ten months ago, McGuire hung up his headset to join the Ottawa Senators front office. He was hired by late owner Eugene Melnyk to be the senior vice president of hockey development. The Ottawa Sun reports that McGuire had been doing a lot of scouting for the organization in the past few months and had spent a great deal of time with the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville.

Few details were given about McGuire’s dismissal. Only that the franchise “didn’t feel McGuire was the right fit,” according to Sun reporter Bruce Garrioch.

Melnyk died in March. Since then, Garrioch reports that decisions have been made by general manager Pierre Dorion, as well as chief financial officer Erin Crowe and Anthony LeBlanc, the club’s president of business operations.


all square

As the Penguins took a commanding 3-1 series lead on the New York Rangers in their opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series Monday night, the Florida Panthers managed to even up their best-of-seven with the Washington Capitals.

Thanks to a 3-2 overtime win by the Panthers, that series is now tied 2-2 with the teams set to duel in Game 5 Wednesday night in Miami.

Carter Verhaeghe scored two of Florida’s three goals, including the game-winner in overtime.

As for the Western Conference playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche closed out a 4-0 sweep of the Nashville Predators courtesy of a 5-3 win in Game 4. And the Calgary Flames even their series at 2-2 against the Dallas Stars, winning 4 -1 in Texas.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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