Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel has been something of an institution in da ‘Burgh, as the veteran DE spent his entire 12-year career with the organization. However, Keisel is set be a free agent this offseason and is not expected to be re-signed by a Steelers franchise that is wisely looking to go younger on the defensive side of the ball. It’s still possible that the Steelers re-sign the run-stuffing 3-4 DE, and I’m sure Keisel would like to stay. But it doesn’t look like that will be the case and Keisel sounds like a guy who isn’t willing to call it quits and would be more than willing to continue his career with another team if he isn’t retained.
He made an appearance on 105.1 FM Detroit and was asked if he would be willing to sign with the Detroit Lions if they are interested in him. His response, via MLive.com’s Justin Rogers, was, “No doubt. They’ve got a great team. I really like their quarterback. They’ve got Megatron. Who would want to play with those guys? Those guys, I think are going to make some noise next year.”
I think he meant “wouldn’t”, but his rhetorical question and larger point were well-taken. That said, why on earth would the Lions want to go after him? It’s nice to hear that Keisel loves the Lions organization, but he’s a 35-year-old player coming off of a bout with plantar fasciitis and is on his last legs. He still has another year- maybe two- in the tank, but he’s a specific 3-4 fit. The Lions have a stacked front seven and need to focus on getting big help in the secondary and another WR, so why would they go after Keisel? They could try to bring him in as a 4-3 DT, and his experience could make him a nice rotation player. But at this point, I don’t think he’s worth the speculative add.
Keisel went to BYU and had some words of praise for the Lions first-round pick out of BYU in last year’s draft. Ziggy Ansah is extremely raw and obviously has a long ways to go, but he has ridiculous talent and flashed it last season. The Steelers DE said of Ansah, “I went to BYU, so I’m proud of my boy Ziggy (Ansah) coming in as a rookie and being a key contributor on that defense. Really, it’s amazing, where he’s come from, the way he’s playing, got into the league and was a first-round pick.”