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Shero, Penguins Benefit From Watching Steelers Camp

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

It was a hockey day in Latrobe on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh Penguins Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero led a Penguins front office delegation to St. Vincent College in Latrobe to observe a day of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at the invitation of Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ Director of Football Operations.

Ray Shero

“It was great. Kevin Colbert did a great job. First, he showed us around and it was nice to see the facilities and the kind of work St. Vincent College has put into their facilities and what they have going there,” Shero said. “He spent a lot of time with us actually going over their scouting information – what they are looking for, some of the forms, some of the players they have chosen, some they have passed on, some mistakes they had made and why they thought that way. I found out from Kevin is that he is very, very prepared. There’s a lot of information, in terms of going through the process of how they go about their draft and the preparation and their draft meetings as compared to ours. It was very informative, so it was a great day.”

Penguins Assistant General Manager Chuck Fletcher and Director of Hockey Administration Jason Botterill were also on hand. Botterrill met with Omar Khan, the Steelers’ Business Operations Coordinator, to compare notes on the salary structures of the NHL and NFL.

It was great. Omar Kahn and Jason spent some time together and just compared some notes with our salary cap compared to their salary cap and the differences and how they account for their money and their sheets vs. our sheets,” Shero said. “I think it was good for both sides. We’d like to reciprocate sometime, obviously, and get them over here. Kevin comes to a lot of the games, which is nice. Anytime they want to come here, they are more than welcome.”

Kevin Colbert

Shero and his staff also had time to enjoy watching the Steelers practice.

“It was really a non-contact day, but they were running some of the plays full speed,” he said. The size of some of those guys was incredible and the athleticism of some of those guys was really something up close, seeing how quick they are – they are just so athletic.

“They have four fields going. They have punters over here and kickers over there and they have stuff going on with all these coaches and water guys and horns are going and whistles are sounding – I didn’t know what was going on for a while; I am glad I didn’t have to pay attention. I would have screwed something up,” he said with a laugh. “It was great; it was really neat to see. I’d love to get back at some point.”

The visit had a special meaning to Shero, who rooted for the Steelers when he was growing up in Philadelphia.

“I was a big Jack Lambert fan and Lynn Swann, Franco Harris and Terry Bradshaw – all these guys,” he said. “I remember back when I was in fourth grade, at 7-Eleven, I think it was, they had little helmets you used to be able to collect. The one I was always missing, it seemed, was the Pittsburgh one. One time, a kid had the Steelers helmet and I was going to trade two Dolphins helmets or something for the Steelers helmet and he showed me it and I thought I was getting ripped off because it only had one decal on it – where was the other decal? I didn’t know the real helmets only had one,” he said with a laugh. “It was good. I used to love the Steelers. I never told anyone I wasn’t an Eagles fan because that was kind of tough if you’re not an Eagles fan in Philly.

“It was a great day for us. It was nice to meet some of the guys. They were really, really good to us and we appreciate it.”

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