Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is entering what could be his final season in the league in 2013, but he feels like this could be the year that the team adds a seventh Lombardi Trophy to their collection.
“I do; I still feel like there\’s something out there,” said Keisel in an interview this past week with DVE Radio. “I still feel like there\’s a championship out there, and I see signs all over the place.
“I\’m kind of superstitious and I read certain things, and I guess the best word is hopeful. I really feel like if we put in the work, and we all are on the same page in the locker room and are all out there on Sundays playing as one that we can be very tough.”
Keisel says that those signs that he is seeing are not in any tea leaves or buried on the palms of anyone, however.
“It\’s just a feeling that I have,” said Keisel. “I feel like seventh heaven is within reach, and I want to get there.”
In order for the Steelers to get to that seventh heaven in 2013, they will have to do so without linebacker James Harrison and nose tackle Casey Hampton, two starters for several years on defense that are being replaced by Jason Worilds and Steve McLendon respectively. Keisel, however, knows that while changes like that happen, it gives younger players opportunities.
“James and Hamp, those guys were great here for a long time and a big reason why we\’ve added to the Lombardi room upstairs,” said Keisel. “Their presence is going to be missed, but it\’s an opportunity. I say it all the time, this game is all about opportunity and these guys like Jason and Steve; that\’s what they\’ve got, they\’ve got an opportunity. Obviously, those Pro Bowl guys, MVP guys – big shoes to fill, but obviously, they feel like they can carry the load.”
While going 8-8 in 2012 certainly isn\’t something that Keisel and the rest of the team is used to, he thinks it will serve as motivation in 2013.
“Yeah, it\’s been a rough offseason,” said Keisel. “It\’s been something that we\’re not used to, and like I said, probably, when you get in the position that we were in, I think that it has hopefully driven everyone to do everything that they can to be a better player, to be a better teammate, to put their best foot forward and make sure that they\’re being the best that they can be.”