Keisel and Velasco Next Important Signings For Pittsburgh Steelers

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Oct 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) waits for the snap from center Fernando Velasco (61) against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Velasco

Maurkice Pouncey will be returning to the Steelers after suffering a blown out knee in the 1st game of the 2013 season.  There are questions surrounding Pouncey’s health – both in this particular return and throughout his pro career.  How much back to form will he be?  No one really knows right now and that’s a big unsettling.

When Pouncey went down, Fernando Velasco became his replacement for the rest of the season until the final four games when Velasco tore his Achilles.  Cody Wallace filled in for the final four games.  During the second half of the season, the Steelers saw a resurgence in the offensive line and found themselves at 6-2 during that stretch and one missed field goal from Kansas City away from making an improbable run at the playoffs.  Velasco and Wallace both were partly responsible for that resurgence.  Wallce was re-signed by the Steelers already this offseason, but Velasco is still sitting at home waiting for that phone to ring.

There are three reasons why Velasco is an important signing for the Steelers.  1) He stepped up and played well most of the season where he only got better each game helping LeVeon Bell almost reach the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the rookie.  2) We have no idea how good or bad Pouncey will be after coming back from a pretty severe injury.  If Pouncey stinks, then it’s best to have good depth at the center position.  Velasco is that good depth.  3) This offensive line has yet to have a season where a bajillion linemen don’t get injured over the course of 16 games.  If Pouncey gets injured again (which is very possible), then the Steelers will again need that good depth.

So while there is the argument out there that Pouncey is important to consider when looking at contract extensions, getting Velasco in is even more important.  The reality of the situation is that Pouncey has become even more expensive now that Alex Mack of the Cleveland Browns just became the highest paid center in the league.

Much like signing Keisel, the Steelers will probably have to wait and sign Velasco following June 1st.


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  • Milliken Steeler

    I think they will resign Velasco soon. They will get him on the cheap coming off of knee surgery and it probably wont be until the Woodley money kicks in on the cap in June.

    I wouldn’t use the word bust with Ziggy. The man started to many games and despite being benched, the guys stats were still going up as they have each year he was here. He was never injured, set a great example for this organization with his attitude and work ethic and I wish him well. I think the Jags realize the scheme wasn’t to his strength and were willing to pay him 4 million a year. I would not be shocked at all if he excels in the Jags scheme.

    Woods never gave the Steelers a chance. lol I dont know if he was upset they didnt do something quicker or what but he never even gave the Steelers a chance to sign him he just took the new deal and called it a career in Pittsburgh,

    I know we all love the beard but the guys body is breaking down and he said he didn’t want to play for what he called ” Minimum wage”

    I think we will be okay and I think the Steelers like what they see in Arnfeldt. Bringing him up from the PS the last three weeks so no one plucked him from us and even giving him a few snaps I think is a good sign.
    We have the other Williams coming back and this draft is deep. I would not be surprised to see us add guys on the D line like Tuitt, Carrethers,McCullers or Mauro for example.

  • daddeeekip

    You got to love Pouncey but most definitely have to be concerned with his injuries,IMO feel the Steelers should sign Velasco and trade Pouncey.

  • bk

    I may be the one guy that just doesn’t see Pouncey as that dominant of a center… It is going to take a lot of money to sign him and there are 4-5 real good centers in the draft this year that will probably (at least a couple) slip to the 5th rd… Roll the dice on youth and if Pouncey leaves they are covered and will get another high comp pick.
    Need to bring in Santonio for a workout… after Brown he could be the next best option at wr..