View Full Version : Worth the Wait for Keisel

01-25-2007, 08:37 AM

Worth the wait for Keisel
Thursday, January 25, 2007
By Teresa Varley

Good things come to those who wait and that proved true for Brett Keisel this year.

The Steelers defensive end spent his first four seasons with the team playing mostly on special teams and in a reserve role.

But when the Steelers opened the 2006 season, Keisel had a new role ? starting defensive end. He took over for Kimo von Oelhoffen, who the team let sign with the New York Jets as a free agent last off-season.

There were questions as to how he would respond to the new role, but he answered those questions with a stellar season.

"I am really proud that I made it 16 games," said Keisel. "That was a question coming in to this, if I could do it and so it was a learning experience throughout the year being a starter. It was a great experience and I look forward to next year and start working towards next year."

Keisel finished the season with 58 tackles and his five and a half sacks were third on the team, behind only Joey Porter and Clark Haggans.

"I thought Brett had a great season," said defensive line coach John Mitchell. "Here is a guy who has been here four years, played on special teams and waited his turn to play. It shows you if a guy waits his time and gets better every day and goes out there and prepares like he is going to be a starter, when he gets the opportunity he is going to play well. He played extremely well."

The Steelers did not allow an opposing player to rush for 100 yards this season and that was an impressive task, especially since they had to face NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson from San Diego and Larry Johnson from the Kansas City Chiefs this season.

"That's something for us up front to hang our hats on," said Keisel. "I felt like we played well all year up front. I am proud of that."

He isn't the only one proud. Mitchell liked what he saw from his young end this season, but what really makes him feel good, is that he thinks his best is yet to come.

"He more than lived up to the expectations," said Mitchell. "You get a feel for a guy because you work with him every day. I felt like when Brett got his opportunity to play he was going to play. I told him in the final interview that I had with him that he played well but his best football is years ahead of him."

01-25-2007, 08:38 AM
I thought that was a pretty awesome article. last year at camp I kept predicting Keisel would have a huge year and was glad to see he didn't disappoint. can't wait to see him in action again next year..

01-25-2007, 02:06 PM
Great Read! I agree as well.

01-25-2007, 02:13 PM
Sure lets us know that the front three is something we can build off us. Two of the three are still relatively young too... I beleive

01-25-2007, 02:16 PM
Yeah, two of them are young, I think your talking about him and Hampton.