6.) Cameron Heyward - Heyward may see his first year as a starter in 2013 if the Steelers are forced to release Keisel. In 2012 Heyward played as Keisel’s back-up and only saw 263 defensive snaps compared to Keisel’s 858. If you take Heyward’s stat line from 2012 and project it for 858 snaps his stat line would have looked something like: 65 tackles, five sacks, and three pass deflections. Keisel’s stat line in 2012 was 46 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one pass deflection. Now projecting stats like that isn’t fully accurate, but given 858 snaps Heyward would have projected to have a season that would be arguably better than the best statistical season of Keisel’s career. Now in the Steelers 3-4 the defensive ends have more to do than just rack up stats and Heyward will need to be able to do those things as well, but he should be a solid starter in 2013 if Keisel is released.
This is the guy I am excited to see play this year. I know that it is going to take the rest of them to step up as well but Heyward can be a big part of our defense this year.