Brett Keisel Talks About How He Thinks James Harrison Is Targeted By League & More

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is at the Super Bowl this week and making the rounds on radio row as part of a promotion with Head and Shoulders. Keisel sat down with Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio to talk with host Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg about his beard, the promotion and what it feels like to lose in the Super Bowl. Keisel is also asked about Pittsburgh\’s season-ending loss to the Denver Broncos, James Harrison being targeted by the league, the departure of Bruce Arians and more. Below is the transcript of the few pertinent questions in relation to the Steelers that I transcribed and you can listen to the full interview here if you would like.

Re: How big of a factor were the injuries in the Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos?

Keisel: Well obviously I think Casey Hampton and myself would have had an impact on that game. We both went down in the first quarter. That\’s the first thing that went in my mind when the injury happened, was, man, both Hamp and I. So it\’s one of those things you wish you could go back and be able to make it all the way through but it is part of the game and you know they beat us that day, and congrats to them, but we look forward to the challenge next year and hopefully getting back in the playoffs and making another run.

Re: James Harrison and perspective of the way the game is being officiated now in regards to the hits?

Keisel: Well, I think James gets targeted, I really do. I feel like he gets targeted by the league. Just probably a little of it is self inflicted on some of his comments and things like that, but the guy plays the game very hard and physical, and that\’s what makes him the great player that he is. But the game is changing, I mean you watch the Pro Bowl yesterday, I mean that was like Friday practice, you know guys walking around and not having any sense of urgency, which is what the game is all about. So the game is changing, you cant really hit guys like you used to, especially coming across the middle with the ball. Guys like Ryan Clark and Troy, that was how they made our big plays, how you get turnovers and things like that, is if you come across the middle, we\’re going to smack you, you know. But its changing and I understand it. Concussions are scary and safety is the number one issue any more and so we have got to find a way to keep the game at the highest speed it can be played, but safely.

Re: Thoughts on Bruce Arians not returning as offensive coordinator?

Keisel: Well, Bruce is a great coach. He and Ben had a wonderful relationship, I think both of them were on the same page a lot, but our organization felt like it was time to make a change or Bruce decided to go. I don\’t know, there was retirement, then he is back here. I love Bruce, I wish him all the best and I am excited about finding out who is going to be our new OC and hopefully he can lead us to another Super Bowl.

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