Sunday, July 13, 2014

Is Keisel returning to Steelers?

With training camp for the Steelers scheduled to begin in less than two weeks at Saint Vincent College, now would be the time for the team to start looking at any possible additions to the roster.

The Steelers have just over $6 million in salary cap space and could bolster their roster with an addition or two. There will be some contract extensions as well, but that won't likely eat up all of the cap space.

No. 1 on that list would be defensive end Brett Keisel.

Make no mistake about this. IF the Steelers bring Keisel back, it would not be to start. In fact, he would be, at best, a 10-snap-per-game player as a situational pass rusher.

Consider that Cam Thomas, the guy signed to help replace Keisel, has six career sacks in four seasons in San Diego. And Keisel had four sacks and 26 pressures - third on the team behind Jason Worilds and Cam Heyward - despite missing four games.

But what he would mean in the locker room would be so much greater.

Few players in the locker room are as respected as the 35-year-old Keisel, who turns 36 in September.

But even more than that, consider that Cam Heyward and Steve McLendon is now the senior man in the Steelers' defensive lineman room - at least in terms of time spent with Pittsburgh.

This is no knock on McLendon, who is a ridiculously hard worker, or Heyward, who is coming into his own as a leader, but it wouldn't hurt to have another trusted voice in that meeting room, somebody who could mentor second-round draft pick Stephon Tuitt.

McLendon and Heyward are both young starters and are likely more worried about improving their own game than they are mentoring a young teammate.

Does Keisel have to be on the roster for that to happen? I think so, unless he's ready to hang up his helmet and take on more of a coaching role. And I don't see that happening yet.

As of mini-camp, Keisel still hadn't cleaned out his locker. Everything was still there, just as he had left it at season's end.

Did Keisel know something? Perhaps.


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

If this team expects 25+ snaps a game from Cam Thomas, they are going to regret that decision. Cam Thomas is worse than Al Woods who we expected and got about 10 snaps a game last season. And nothing on the field has proven Cam Thomas is even close to being as good as a 3-4 DE as a NT/DT (which he has played most of his life). This team better plan to either hand the job to Tuitt (just like they are with Shazier) or sign Keisel to play a LOT more than 10 snaps a game. Open the wallet and get it done. The Steelers are sticking to minimum salary and if I was Keisel, I'd want more.

Anonymous said...

I could see this going either way. It seems there has been a shift in the philosophy (Tomlin mainly) about playing young players. I believe the new CBA limits teams to about 2 padded practices once the season starts. This probably makes it very hard to develop younger players without them actually playing in the game. I love Keisel, but I'd also love to see Tuitt get a lot of playing time. I think Arnfeldt is a keeper too.

BTW Dale, I'm with you on the PFF analysis. I never heard of any coach who pays attention to it. The biggest issue is that whomever they have breaking down film, doesn't know (and can't know) each player's assignment. With that being said, how can you grade someone on the execution of their assignment, if you don't know their assignment. Completely flawed...

Anonymous said...

yea let's just blindly follow stats, that's much better. stop bringing it up

Anonymous said...

that's bs about not being able to figure out a players assignment btw. sure there may be some plays where it's difficult but you guys need to wake up. it's not rocket science.

Alex Kozora on Steelersdepot.com does it almost every day and does a great job at it.

Evan Mathis clearly explains how to figure out what's going on with lineman here http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/02/22/evan-mathis-o-line-insight/

Anonymous said...

What's going on with Pouncy, signs a huge contract and now he is in the news... I have no idea what these guys think sometimes, trouble just follows...

Anonymous said...

I don't think they need to make a decision on Keisel until after training camp. Let's see what we have before breaking the emergency glass.

Until I see any credible evidence (i.e., not on social media) Pouncey actually did anything, I'll assume it's just someone chasing after the money he just got. What are the odds either putative victim can distinguish between the twins?

Dale Lolley said...

Pouncey is not "in the news." Some guy made a claim on Twitter. The police down there have checked it out. Any charges filed? Nope.

marc said...

dale, with all due respect, charges have not been filed, yet. the investigation is ongoing. while I certainly hope nothing comes of it, we will have to wait and see first.

I'm 50/50 on kiesel. if they think they really need the leadership, then I guess go ahead and bring him back. it just bugs me he would be taking snaps from younger players who need the experience.

Steve said...

The Pounceys weren't named on the incident report -

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/nfl-pittsburgh-steelers-news/2014/7/14/5897871/maurkice-pouncey-assault-police-report-night-club-2014

Anonymous said...

but see Keisel wouldn't do that because he wants to be a Steeler. He has been a Steeler his whole career and has said he dosn't want to play for anyone else. So if they don't sign Keisel which will be a mistake he will retire... Keisel is one of the people who loves the game and won't back-stab his team for money he plays for the sport and his team, just like Taylor and Polamalu who both took pay cuts so they can retire with the Steelers.

Anonymous said...

Keisel's agent already said Keisel won't play for the veteran minimum. So he does want a little more money, and considering the injury bug the last couple seasons, I'm not sure he'll get more. The Steelers have to stop living in the past of "what they did do" and live in the now, which they appear to be doing.

Anonymous said...

They need Keisel back and they can get Harrison back too.They will be needed just for their experience and guidance for all the young players.I happen to think if we get both back we will see our 7th superbowl win.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see Harrison coming back. They have enough depth at linebacker. And Porter serves as the veteran mentor there.

Keisel's agent was saying he wouldn't play for the minimum a couple of months ago. But once push comes to shove, does he want to play or not?

Brad Henry said...

FEAR DA BEARD!

Anonymous said...

I just want Brett Keisel back!!!!!!

bruinmann77 said...

i have said it from the start expecpting to see 99 back