‘GENGHIS’ KHAN RIDES AGAIN: Once doubted, Omar Khan gets high marks in first Draft as Steelers GM

The NFL 2023 Draft is now in the books. Steelers new GM Omar Khan not only passed the grade with flying colors, but for a rookie GM, he might have designed an entirely new syllabus for the course. I have a slight difference of opinion in regard to defining Omar Khan as a “Khan” artist even if it is in jest. I did not observe or detect any David Copperfield “sleight of hand” moves by him, nor did I see him painting a landscape featuring the birds and the bees. He came and conquered, period.

As I watched the Steelers’ “Secretary of Defense,” Omar Khan, supply his 6-star General Mike Tomlin with the troops and supplies that will help his troops win the daily battles of attrition waged within the NFL, I visualized both men as ancient warriors riding across the open Eurasian Steppe wind flying through the flowing manes of their Mongolian horses, transporting their masters to future destinations of conquest. I could not visualize either man surrendering on any level. MJ might say: “They left blood on the dance floor.”

Oh, I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen, I must awaken from this amazing but almost prophetic dream. It might’ve been only a dream for me, but it may possibly be a future nightmare for the rest of the National Football League.

By all indications, Omar Khan is a multi-layered individual composed of guile, grit, and diplomacy. He is the ultimate example of the complexity of his craft. I am willing to bet my grandmother’s last grilled cheese sandwich that no one counted on the Patriots stepping up to make a deal with the Steelers. I would take an educated guess that during the 57-year-old NFL merger, there has been no more than a handful of times that the Patriots and the Steelers have made deals. However, I extend permission to all of you to use this time-honored cliché taken directly from my personal archives. I have often said during my 70 years on this planet that: “It is easy to provide weapons to the enemy that you hate the least to defeat the enemy that you despise the most.” 

Usatoday.com had this to say about the deal. “Pittsburgh vaults the Jets, conspiring with the AFC East rival Patriots, to snag the lineman very likely in Gang Green’s crosshairs. (Broderick Jones) is probably this draft’s premier pass blocker, the 6-5, 311-pound All-SEC performer capably guarded (Georgia Bulldogs) QB Stetson Bennett IV’s blind side the past two years as the Bulldogs won a pair of national titles. Now Jones, 21, upgrades a Steelers line that’s needed a boost for some time, QB Kenny Pickett and RB Najee Harris immediate beneficiaries.”

Simply put, when any Jets QB drops back to pass, he won’t have the luxury of Broderick Jones providing pass protection for him.  And to think it was just a short time ago, that Omar Khan almost got away.

It was blatant skullduggery and stupidity that roadblocked the Houston Texans from hiring Omar Khan as their GM in 2022. Following are a few excerpts from an article posted on Steeler Nation by Christopher Barbre.  Barbre wrote, “the Steelers were very close to losing Khan over a year before he was hired to be the GM of the Steelers. In fact, Khan was working on a deal to work elsewhere. That deal was thwarted by one of the most hated executives in NFL history. Khan was one of the candidates to be the GM of the Houston Texans and the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers turned him down, but Cal McNair was clearly intrigued by Khan’s abilities as an executive and wanted to make him the Texans’ GM. After Bill O’Brien was fired as both head coach and GM, the Texans needed someone to try and build the Texans back up. McNair even chose Khan over all of the other considerations to be the GM and went into contract negotiations with him. McNair suddenly halted contract negotiations with Khan and instead hired Nick Caserio, who was an executive for the New England Patriots. Caserio is also the same person that the Texans tried tampering with and resulted in Brian Gaine’s firing. After the Patriots threatened a lawsuit, the Texans tried a ‘GM by committee,’ and eventually just hired O’Brien to take on the GM role. Clearly, someone in the organization wanted Caserio so bad that they would order contract negotiations with another candidate to halt.”

Isn’t that a million-to-one irony? Nick Caserio, the executive from the New England Patriots that the Houston Texans tried to hire in a back alley along with the dogs and the cats, prevents Omar Khan from being gainfully employed gleefully and deviously sent Omar Khan packing back to Pittsburgh, in route to pulling in an A+ draft class. Oh by the way, the team that helped Khan achieve such a feat was the New England Patriots. Hey Nick, how ya like dem apples…

Well, I don’t know about the Texans or the Patriots but “Steely McBeam” and his crew are holding a perpetual beer blast over on the North Shore.

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