Oct 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) warms up prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel Is Safe For One More Year

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel has been sidelined for the last few weeks with a foot sprain, but is slated to potentially return according to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.  Many feared that Keisel could be shelved for the season depending on the severity of the injury.  And with the potential of Keisel’s season being done, others feared that we witnessed The Beard for the last time in a Steelers uniform.

Keisel is getting a little long in the tooth, and has been observed of losing a step since last season even though ESPN’s Scott Brown feels otherwise.  Age has been a recent factor for the Steelers and their decisions to keep or release a player.  As noted by Brown on Tuesday, capable veterans and fan favorites are not safe from the salary cap axe, such as Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton.  Based on how the Steelers front line fared the last few weeks without him, I think it’s safe to assume that Keisel will not only return to the line up this season if deemed healthy, but he will also be back for at least one more season.

As Dom pointed out in his injury report earlier on Tuesday, Cameron Heyward has certainly stepped up and has outperformed most of our expectations.  This past Sunday, he simply went into Beast Mode and had the best game of his career.  His efforts aren’t enough because guys like Al Woods and Steve McLendon have underperformed and have not allowed the linebackers to penetrate the pocket and struggle to help stop the run.

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel reacts on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel reacts on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have a need at just about every position coming up in this off-season’s draft.  And, to expect the Steelers to nab a top quality rookie that can contribute right away is unrealistic.  You can expect the Steelers to draft similarly to how they did the past two drafts by going after offensive linemen, cornerbacks, linebackers, and other players that are the highest value at the time of selection.  I don’t foresee a DL getting nabbed in all of that – at least one that can start – so the Steelers will need to ensure that Keisel will hang around for one more season (even two) until they can get capable people to fill his position.  I certainly agree with Scott Brown that Keisel will more than likely take a cheap deal to ‘finish’ his career in the ‘Burgh

So, the Steelers aren’t really in a dilemma over Brett Keisel and whether he will be gone after this season.  The dilemma lies in the fact that they have too many needs on the defensive side of the ball and not enough draft picks to fill them.

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  • myrique21

    We need a Casey Hampton type nose tackle! Someone that can plug the hole and occupy two blocks as he did. Maybe we should have kept Ta’amu.

    • Dom DiTolla

      They also need cornerbacks who can cover, an inside linebacker to take over for Larry Foote, another wide receiver or two in case Cotchery and Sanders leave, a competent left tackle, an athletic tight end to pair with/eventually take over for Miller and an outside linebacker to take over for Worilds when he leaves.

      Laundry list is pretty long.

  • myrique21

    In your case, we need a whole new team! The problem they are having is execution. I trust we will release who we don’t need, sign who we do need, and drafted the rest of our needs. We live through the draft, and that has been the history of this team. They have 6 SB’s to prove it. This is actually the first time in a while we will get a high draft pick. So, be patience; you can’t stay on top every season.

    • Dom DiTolla

      They do mostly need a new team, that’s why it’s called rebuilding. Sadly for them, the franchise failed to really net anything of value (which they have ultimately kept) from the crucial 2008 and 2009 drafts, inked over-priced and over-the-hill veterans past their prime to lucrative deals and are now reaping what they’ve sown for their moronic decisions.

      Lack of talent is just as big of an issue as execution, and they are probably going to let their best pass-rusher walk after this season in the form of Worilds.

      The only thing working in Pittsburgh’s favor is that they are set at the quarterback position. Other than that, I’m fully prepared to see another two-three more postseason-less Winters in 2014, 2015 and 2016.