View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: Keisel hopes to start against Titans

12-20-2008, 09:53 AM
Steelers Notebook: Keisel hopes to start against Titans
Saturday, December 20, 2008
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Brett Keisel had only two sacks in 16 games last season, but he led the Steelers in another category: Flushing the quarterback out of the pocket.

He had 31 quarterback pressures in 2007, an indication he was still performing his role as a pass-rush specialist even without the sacks.

But those numbers are down this season -- one sack and nine quarterback pressures -- and the reason is apparent:

His number of games has gone down, too.

Keisel has missed nearly half the team's 14 games this season, sitting out three because of a calf injury and another three because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

He is hoping his inactivity ends tomorrow in Nashville, Tenn., where, barring an unexpected setback, he is expected to start against the Titans (12-2).

"I made it through the week," Keisel said. "I think it's going to be a game-time call, but I do feel good."

Keisel has practiced every day this week, giving his knee a good test Thursday to see how it would respond. He felt good enough yesterday that he practiced again and hopes to rejoin the first team.

Keisel sustained a sprained knee Nov. 20 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has been replaced in the starting lineup by Travis Kirschke.

"I pushed it, not so hard today, but Thursday, and there were no setbacks," Keisel said.

Injury updates
Free safety Ryan Clark, who was on crutches earlier in the week and did not practice Wednesday, has worked each of the past two days and is expected to play against the Titans.

Left tackle Marvel Smith (back) will miss his 10th consecutive game and be replaced by Max Starks.

Looking on the bright side
Even though running back Willie Parker has 196 yards rushing in his past four games -- his lowest four-game total since he had 178 in a four-game stretch in 2005 -- offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said he is beginning to see positive signs in the running game.

The Steelers rushed for 91 yards on 27 carries against the Baltimore Ravens, but Arians was pleased when the offense put together back-to-back runs of 5 yards to get a first down in the first quarter. And he liked that Parker had been able to get 10 yards on first down on another instance.

"That was probably the best we ever run it against Baltimore. With the field position, we weren't able to swap it, but we ran the ball out the hole extremely well. I was pleased with that.

"We didn't run it very well against Dallas [70 yards on 26 attempts], but Baltimore I was very pleased. Willie looked like himself. That was a great sign right there."

Farrior missed the good news
Even though he was watching the selection show on the NFL Network, inside linebacker James Farrior said he did not know he had been selected to the AFC Pro Bowl team. At least, not right away.

Farrior said his cell phone was not working, either, so nobody could call him with the good news.

"I didn't see it at first," Farrior said. "I was like, 'Man, I guess I didn't make it.' About 20 minutes later, I thought, 'I'll sit here and watch and see what they talk about,' and I saw my name. I was kind of relieved about that."


12-20-2008, 03:22 PM
It will be nice when Keisel returns.

12-20-2008, 03:26 PM
wasn't Brett Keisel the original concept for the Cloverfield monster? honestly, they should've went with a 100 foot Keisel monster wrecking the city cause he is a total beast. haha!

my Uncle Rick hunts with him from time to time. not that that has ANYTHING to do with the topic at hand...just that i inadvertently know Brett Keisel. haha!