Steelers Reunion Theories Can Wait For Answers At Training Camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers now have millions of dollars at their disposal thanks to the June boost given by the earlier release of outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

The organization already has seven of their nine draft picks under contract, with just the second- and third-round selections remaining unsigned at this point.

No doubt a large chunk of that money remaining will be reserved for working out extensions with some of the team’s core players.

The most likely initial candidates figure to be center Maurkice Pouncey and cornerback Cortez Allen, but if all goes well, even Jason Worilds and Ben Roethlisberger might see new long-term deals this summer as their contracts expire.

There should also be money left over—theoretically, of course—for a free agent signing or two, likely of the veteran-minimum variety.

But that doesn’t mean that there is a rush to get anything done. The Steelers, as a matter of fact, simply don’t have enough data at the moment to determine whether or not they would benefit much from bringing in more free agents.

The two names that everybody will focus on, of course, are outside linebacker James Harrison and defensive end Brett Keisel, both of whom spent nearly their entire careers playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.

Are they needed? Or would they be a hindrance to the development of what the Steelers are trying to do now on defense?

We have next to no data on rookie Stephon Tuitt. We’ve hardly seen Brian Arnfelt in nearly a year. And we don’t know what Cam Thomas can do as a defensive end in the Steelers’ system. So how do we know if Keisel is needed yet?

Likewise at outside linebacker. With Jason Worilds sitting out OTAs with a minor ailment, Arthur Moats has been getting plenty of valuable reps with the first-team defense.

As a result, this has also given journeyman Vic So’oto an opportunity to open some eyes as he lines up across from Chris Carter with the second-team defense. Jordan Zumwalt has already gotten work on the outside during rookie minicamp as well.

We know their names, but we must wait further before we can say that there are pieces missing along the defensive line or at outside linebacker.

The Steelers will likely wait until training camp, if at all, before considering whether or not they have the required depth at the aforementioned positions.

Maybe then we can talk about potentially taking another look at Keisel or Harrison and deciding if they would be a smart addition to the 2014 version of the Pittsburgh Steelers roster, but until we know more about the current roster, there’s no sense in talking reunions. The next time those veterans are at St. Vincent College, it could be to announce their retirements as Steelers.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Paddy

    Lots of question marks for this team, hopefully they will disappear one after the other.

  • Game_Time

    Bringing Keisel back might indeed slow the progress not to mention take a roster spot from one of the young up and coming D-linemen. However, bringing Harrison back would almost seem necessary…. Worilds is already injured. Jarvis hasn’t proven that he can do it yet. Moats is learning a new system. We all know that Chris Carter is lucky to still be in a Steelers uniform. Zumwalt and H. Jones are 6th rd and un-drafted rookies. Even if Harrison only has a half a tank left, he’s still better than Carter will ever be and more knowledgeable of the system than all of these guys combined.

  • Johnny Loose

    I guess we have to wait for nature to take it’s course but I’m on board with everything you said.

  • steeltown

    DL: Heyward, McLendon, Tuitt, Thomas, Arnfelt, McCullers, N.Williams (rehabbing) and then the others Fangupo, Philon, Mauro etc
    OLB: Worilds, Jones, Moats, Vic So’oto, C.Carter and then the others Zumwalt, H.Jones
    It sure would appear we could use Harrison for depth on a ONE year deal. I think Vic So’oto has a strong chance of making this Team but barring Zumwalt or H.Jones making waves in preseason having Harrison in the rotation could be beneficial.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    There is always some injuries, sometimes of a severe nature, in camp. Then you will see what the Steelers truly have planned. They know there’s a great chance that the vets will still be there waiting for a phone to return to the Steelers. Therefore, I believe they will wait until much closer to the start of the season before considering bringing back Harrison or Keisel, or waiting until the last cuts are made to pick somone up that may help in the future.

  • Lil Smitty

    I agree about the injury aspect. If Worilds or Jones is lost for the year, bring Harrison back. I am worried about his rush and coverage ability. As far as Keisel goes, I wouldn’t bring him back unless Cam H goes down. I like what I have been hearing from him. Give Cam H a chance to become the future leader of the team. We might have to suffer through some problems this year, but it might help in the future.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Yeah, I love Keisel but we don’t really need him and I don’t want to lose the player we would lose if he signs.

    I think Harrison could be really effective in limited play. We would have to see more development than I expect from the linebackers for him (or someone like him) not to be needed.