Re: Keisel Injured
The way Smith is looking, I think it's over for him. I like Smith a lot, he's served the Steelers well and he is a true Steeler, but we are getting zero production from him it seems. Keisel and Smith played horrible against Baltimore, to my surprise, cause Keisel played well last year. Next game though Keisel stepped up and made some plays, I didn't see anything, not a single thing, from Smith against and inferior team. Hood played well last year and has earned the spot. I would say give Smith one more game to see if he comes around, if not, Hood should be starting and playing 75% of the time. Keisel looks like he's getting back to form, but it's only one game that he played well in and it wasn't extremely well. I think Keisel will get back to playing really good this year so I'm not going to go into hypothetical's about "what if he doesn't", but he shouldn't be in there every snap or 99% of the snaps. For that matter, none of the DE's should. I played junior leagues, high school, and college ball as a DE and LB. I know things are done differently at that level, but there was a good amount of rotation. If I was coaching I would start Hood and rotate Smith in every now and then for a set of downs here and there, keeping Hood "fresh", keeping Smith active, and getting overall better play from both of them because they will not be as tired. I would do the same with Heyward and Keisel, start Keisel, if he's having a monster game leave him in 90% of the time. If not, Heyward should be playing 30% or so of the snaps in the first 3 quarters. By doing this, you keep everybody "fresh", you get your young guy Heyward playing time while keeping your best DE Keisel ready to go when it counts the most. You also get to play the player who is playing the best in the 4th quarter when it counts, rather then just having to stick with whoever you started. I don't see a downside to it, I've seen first hand the benefits of it, I just don't see how NFL coaches don't see it. It would be different if Hood played bad last year and Heyward was a 6th round pick, but we got some guys behind our vets that can play, lets play them. I just really don't see how NFL coaches don't get it with so many things, but as a few mentioned before, maybe they are purposely holding the young guys back.