Keisel and Velasco Next Important Signings For Pittsburgh Steelers

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Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) pumps up the crowd against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Keisel

The Steelers let Ziggy Hood join the hapless (or soon to be much better due to their own FA signings) Jacksonville Jaguars and let Al Wood walk on over to the Tennessee Titans.  Even though Ziggy had been a bust for the last two seasons, his departure along with Woods left some big holes in the defensive line.  The Steelers signed former Buffalo Bills Cam Thomas to a two year deal.  Thomas – “Baby Zilla” – is by trade a nose tackle and should help plug up the middle of the defensive line that has been a trouble spot since the Steelers decided to not re-sign Casey Hampton.  Thomas is surely and upgrade from the current situation – that being that they have no viable defensive tackle.  Why the Steelers let Woods go is a head scratcher, as his deal was inked around the same amount of cash as Thomas’ deal.

The defensive ends will consist of Cam Heyward who really cranked things up in the second half of the season.  Steve McClendon and Hebron Fangupo round out the other listed as DT, though McClendon could and should move to the outside.  So where is the depth?  Fairly nonexistent, which is why the Steelers need to sign Brett Keisel.

I think everyone would love to see The Beard come back for another season.  He’s a fighter, great attitude, and still has talents to give to this team.  I think everyone could understand why the Steelers didn’t sign him right away and would be ‘ok’ with the team signing someone else.  But, since many in Steeler Nation knows how things go in a Dick LeBeau offense – we won’t be seeing a rookie lineman drafted and have much in the way of playing time…. unless the line becomes injury plagued.  Best to get Keisel signed to add that depth, and he very well may accept a league minimum offer to play backup.  They may not be able to until June 1st when Woodley is officially released, and there is enough money on the table.

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