The average fan may know Louis Riddick as an ESPN commentator and one of the voices on Monday Night Football, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in him not because of his broadcasting chops but because of his front office experience in the NFL.
The Steelers are set to interview Riddick to fill their general manager vacancy, and he’d be a great choice to get the job.
Louis Riddick is the best thing going for Monday Night Football
Frankly, if you only knew Riddick from his time on Monday Night Football, that wouldn’t be a half-bad thing.
The MNF broadcasting product has been severely lacking since the days of Al Michael and John Madden. Heck, even the days of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden would be preferable to the bland product ESPN has been serving up lately. Current play-by-play announcer Steve Levy was great back in the day on Sportscenter, but he’s nothing special on MNF. Brian Griese does have playing experience as a former NFL quarterback going for him, but he’s rather bland himself.
Hey, at least we’re far away from the Jason Witten and Booger McFarland experience. But if it weren’t for the presence of Riddick, fans would be clamoring for the return of the Boogermobile.
Riddick is smart, and he clearly knows both the game and the players in it like the back of his hand. In terms of actual football analysis, Tony Romo gets all the hype, but Riddick is just as good, if not better.
Riddick has a ton of actual experience in the NFL
Riddick sounds as intelligent as he does on Monday Night Football because he has a ton of actual experience within the league. He’s not your average broadcaster, and he’s certainly not your average player-turned-commentator.
He played six seasons in the league from 1992 to 1998. He was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the ninth round of the 1991 NFL Draft, but he got his first playing experience with the Atlanta Falcons. He spent three seasons with the Cleveland Browns, one more season back in Atlanta, and then a season with the then-Oakland Raiders before calling it quits after the 1998 campaign.
Rather than selling used cars or insurance, Riddick worked himself into the front office side of the NFL and started his career as a pro scout for Washington in 2001. He spent a few seasons as a scout before being promoted to the position of director of pro personnel in 2007.
Riddick then left Washington and seemingly took a step back org chart-wise, but he was with a much better-run franchise, the Philadelphia Eagles.
From pro scout to assistant director of pro personnel to director of pro personnel, Riddick systematically worked his way up the ranks of another organization. He spent three seasons as the director of pro personnel with the Eagles before making a pretty significant career change and becoming a part of the media as an NFL front office insider for ESPN in 2013.
Riddick would be a great fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s a new day for the Steelers.
Sure, the ever-steady Mike Tomlin is still the head coach, and the Rooneys are considered among the best owners in pro sports. The Steelers also have star running back Najee Harris entering his second season after a dynamic rookie year, and they’ll boast the likely Defensive Player of the Year and his 22.5 sacks on the other side of the ball in T.J. Watt.
The big change in Pittsburgh will be the notable absence of Ben Roethlisberger, who’s retiring after 18 seasons and two Super Bowl wins. The Steelers will also be without general manager Kevin Colbert, who will be stepping away from the job after the 2022 NFL Draft.
Losing Colbert is a more-than-notable change for the Steelers. He’s been in place since 2000 and has overseen all of the organization’s success in that time frame. He’s been a key pillar of the Roethlisberger-Tomlin-Colbert trifecta that has kept the Steelers among the top organizations in the league for the past two decades.
While it won’t be easy to replace Colbert, Riddick seems like the perfect candidate.
There’s a reason the Steelers are reportedly interviewing him. He clearly knows the league inside and out, and he’d be able to draw on both his playing and scouting experience to help him make decisions for the Steelers. He’s also a hometown product, and that type of connection to the area can’t be understated.
Riddick was born in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, went to high school in the state, and then played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh. The campus is not even five miles away from Heinz Field.
This is a chance for the Steelers to bring Riddick back home, and it’s not just for nostalgia’s sake. He has the experience to take over the reins of the organization and lead it into a bright future.