Depth Chart

Steelers List DE Brett Keisel As Right Side Starter

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to bring back veteran defensive end Brett Keisel, their latest depth chart shows him as the starter on the right side, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com.

Brown reports that rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt is currently listed as Keisel’s backup and that Cam Thomas is listed as the left side backup to Cameron Heyward.

So how much should we read into preseason depth charts? According to head coach Mike Tomlin, not much.

“I don’t get too much into preseason depth charts, I just fill them out because Burt [Lauten] ask me to,” said Tomlin during his Tuesday press conference.

Regardless of being told not to read too much into the depth chart, it’s hard to imagine Keisel not being on the field at right defensive end for the start of the regular season opener at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns. From there, we can only speculate as to how many snaps Keisel will play on a weekly basis.

As I mentioned in a Tuesday evening post, I see Keisel averaging roughly 25 snaps per game in 2014. Maybe a little more than that at the start of the season.

Last season, Keisel averaged 47.8 snaps a game in the 12 that he played in, but with him turning 36 in September, you have to wonder if he can still handle that kind of workload. Keisel, who battled plantar fasciitis last season, sounds like he’s ready to go this year from a physical standpoint.

“I feel great,” he told steelers.com. “I have been training my tail off with the thought that I am going to be back. It looks like all of that training has paid off.”

Keisel is not expected to play Thursday night in the Steelers third preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, so we’ll likely have to wait for him to make his 2014 debut next week in the exhibition finale against the Carolina Panthers.

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