Brett Keisel Says Steelers Need To Do A Little Rebuilding & Need More Leaders To Step Up

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is down at the Super Bowl in New Orleans again this year promoting the Head and Shoulders brand and he sat down for an interview with Mike Florio and Erik Kuselias on Tuesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk.

Keisel was asked by Florio if he thought that some rebuilding needed be done by the Steelers this offseason in order to get them back in contention next season after finishing 8-8 this past season.

“Yes, I definitely think that we need to do a little rebuilding,” Keisel said. “We need to get some guys in that are going to help us make that next step. When you lose some key guys like Aaron Smith, Hines Ward, James Farrior, these guys were amazing players and amazing leaders. And I feel like more people need to step us leaders and we need more guys to make plays when the plays are there. Younger guys need to start making big splash plays for us to win.”

Keisel was then asked if he thought that outside linebacker James Harrison, who is scheduled to count $10.035 million against the salary cap in 2013, will be back next season.

“I do, I do,” said Keisel. “I think they may need to negotiate a little bit, but I still feel like James can play.”

Keisel is right when he says that the teams need more leaders to emerge in 2013 as that has been evident for some time now. As far as Harrison goes, he most certainly is going to have to take one heck of a pay cut this offseason if he is going to avoid being a cap causality. I have long speculated that Harrison will need to drop his $6.57 million base salary that he is scheduled to earn in 2013 by at least $3 million as the Steelers will be strapped for cap room even after they restructure the contracts of a few other players. We should know that outcome by the middle of March as the Steelers will need to compliant with the Rule of 51 by then.

As far as the younger players that Keisel talks about needing to make more splash plays next season, it doesn\’t matter how young or old that player is as the Steelers failed to get many splash plays out of the entire team last season, especially on the defensive side of the ball where he plays.

Keisel was also asked during the interview about his thoughts on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and if he now ranks up there with the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.

“I don’t think he’s as good as those guys right now,” Keisel said about Flacco. “But I said earlier someone was asking about should he get paid. Sure man! We should all get paid.

“I think he’s a very good quarterback. I think he’s starting to play his best ball and obviously he’s led these guys right down here to the biggest game of all.”

Keisel also said during the interview that he thinks the Ravens will beat the San Francisco 49ers Sunday because of the extra motivation that they have to send linebacker Ray Lewis out a champion.

You can watch the full interview in the video below as Keisel also promotes his upcoming Shear the Beard Charity Event that will take place next week when he returns from New Orleans.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I think needing more splash plays is right on the money. The last couple years the defense has been very good even though they failed to get turnovers. I believe if they perform at the same level, just with more splash plays they could be dominant. Thus, will also improve the performance of the offense.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    At least the topic isnt about whatever Clark’s wife tweets. I couldnt believe anyone cares about crap like that & about who tweeted rooting for which team. Zzzzz.

    Re Keisel thinking Harrison will b here: What helps Harrison in negotiating, is we have noone ready to play there. Worilds cant be counted on for anything (due to injuries), & LeBeau wont play Robinson or BJohnson for even a couple of snaps. Steelers fingers are crossed that Worilds wont be injuried.

  • zyzak

    Ray Lewis is no Jerome Bettis.

  • awlcohen

    The steeler players need to quit talking about other players in the NFL, who is going to win the super bowl etc. Makes them look childish and stupid. At least pretend to be professionals for a change. And the fact that Tomlin and Rooney apparently don’t care to tell them to stop it is even worse.

  • steeltown

    Worilds was healthy all season in 2012, he had the offseason wrist surgery that forced him to miss alot of camp and OTA’s but he stayed healthy this year. I think he could start.. he had 5sacks in 440snaps in 2012, its hard to get an average for snaps per game in a given season, but lets just say 440snaps is approx. 7 full games as a starter (around 60defensive snaps per game) using that ‘not so great’ method, we could conclude Worilds had 5sacks in 7games (in terms of worth of snaps) .. thats not too shabby

  • steeltown

    I think its evident the real positions of need in terms of immediate help are WR, RB and TE…. ..Safety and LB are definitely needed as well, definitely, but in terms of impact those not likely till 2014… unless Foote is allowed to walk, then ILB becomes very interesting

  • Chris92021

    He’s right about the leadership part. This is where Ryan Clark has to step up. On offense, it has to be Maurkice Pouncey.

  • If our Offense and ST’s can start making splash plays of their own and scoring more than 21 points on average, the Defense will not be called on to constantly save the day. The Defense could use a bit more bite in getting after the QB but in my opinion, they have played well enough (Top 5 every year) considering the FA losses and Injuries to be considered Championship quality. NEED TO SCORE MORE POINTS!

  • Right on!..and a bit more production from the Guys we already have on offense.

  • I couldn’t agree more, although if we lose Starks, Foster and cut Colon you could add O Line to that list too.

  • Sorry, as much as I dislike Ray, he’ll be a first ballot HOF, unlike Bettis.

  • Mike Carroll

    I disagree about Ryan Clark. He was as much of a leader as he could be last year. I think Kiesel is referring to younger guys stepping up, and to me that points directly to Woodley, as much as anyone, on the defensive side of the ball. Lamarr is supposed to be in the prime of his career and seemed poised to become a new vocal leader on defense. Unfortunately, his pathetic performance kept him from stepping into that role this past year. But, I think it’s still there waiting for him, if he steps up to it this upcoming year.

  • zyzak

    Talking about his character

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Thanks. Seems like he had been injured before last season, but I guess not.

  • steeltown

    He was injured ‘before’ last season. He missed a few games in the two previous years for misc injuries. I think 2011 he missed 3-4games with a quad injury

  • Mike Carroll

    Good comments by Kiesel. He knows he’s not a dominant player on this team and he’s clearly not the future either. But he played about as well as anyone in the defensive front seven last year so he still deserves to be heard and respected. His 40 QB pressures were more than twice as much as anyone else, which is fairly embarrassing for the rest of the guys up front. Kiesel knows he is not one of the new leaders this team needs, but he’s acting as much of a leader as he can be by calling for younger players to step up into those roles.

  • Kysteeler

    I think if I hear “splash play” one more time I’m going to go crazy!

  • Kysteeler

    Agreed Pouncey will be the eldest Olineman and should lead that group.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Love this guy.

    By far our best DL player in 2012

  • alex

    much manluv to u Big K…

    anyway, its been bugin’ me for over a month, the question of a team/locker room leader…its a gleaming issue for us…

    who is it on D, Clark? and worse more, whom on the offense? Not BEN or any of the RBs, or even our child WRs, maybe Pouncey…!?

    I humbly submit the name Jerricho Cotchery…Veteran player who sat @ #4 on the depth chart and when called upon, did whatever it took to advance the team…

  • mike spriggs

    He is to the Ravens!

  • LucasY59

    Worilds was not ready to play at the begining of the season, Carter had to start the season while Harrison was out because of his knee.

    I think his performance last season (could be 10+ sacks if he was a full time starter based on his stats as a reserve) earns him the chance to prove that he can continue and improve as a starter (if Harrison is gone) or at least get more snaps and push Woodley (underacheiving) Tomlin benched Mendenhall why cant he bench Woodley?

    Also most of the OLBs that could be drafted by the Steelers in the early rounds, are not likely to get very many snaps on defense (rookies don’t play for Lebeau) so Worilds is the Starter if Harrison is gone, this makes me think that OLB will not be the 1st rd pick (maybe if an elite talent like Jones slides to 17) the Steelers need a player that will be on the field right away with this years 1st pick so I think it will be TE, WR, or RB (unfortunately all three seem like reaches for 17 so I hope they trade back)

  • steeltown

    I agree about hoping for back, unless Jones or Wharmack fall. Otherwise the only other player that is a possibilityat #17 is Safety Vaccaro and even he is a bit of a reach… there are no WR, RB or TE’s worth that high of a pick this year, I dont care what anyone says about Patterson or others, they could trade back and still select a top prospect from those positions…. would rather trade back and go after TE’s Eifert/Ertz or Safety Elam and then try and land WR Hopkins