December 28, 2009
“NOT DEAD YET”
Steelers 23, Ravens 20
From Coach Tomlin’s post-game press conference:
“You know, like I just told the football team, this is our bed, but I like how they’re laying in it. Not dead yet. Still got a pulse in this thing and we’ll continue to control the things we can control, playing winning football, preparing, doing the best we can. They did today and made enough plays to win, so we move on to next week and we’re hopeful that we’ll get the necessary help, but again, we make no excuses or have no explanations. We put ourselves into this position, but I like the way they’re dealing with it.”
The Steelers have won their last two games, and are still in the hunt for an AFC wildcard. They will need to beat the Miami Dolphins next week, and also will need some help from other teams to get into the playoffs. For playoff scenario information, click, here.
Big play defense:
Sacks? Big hits? Open-field tackles? The Steelers used all of those in a 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
To read more about the defense, click here.
Brett had four tackles in the game. He was injured late in the game and did not return. Coach Tomlin said Keisel suffered a stinger. As of now, it sounds like he will be able to play next week, but we will probably know more later in the week.
Keisel talks about the Steelers playoff chances:
“All I know, we don’t have a chance unless we win. We can’t think about what can happen or who needs to win, all we need to think about is winning ourselves, because if we don’t do that none of it is possible.”
Thanks to Erin, from Big Ben News for locating the quote for me!
For the first time in team history the Steelers have a 4,000-yard passer (Ben Roethlisberger), a 1,000-yard rusher (Rashard Mendenhall) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes).
Game photos are here.
December 20, 2009
“IT TASTES GOOD”
Steelers 37, Packers 36
Brett talks about the win:
“It tastes good. We’re excited to go into the Christmas holiday with a win.”
To watch the rest of his post-game interview, click here.
Ben Roethlisberger led a Super Bowl-like 86-yard drive in the final two minutes that ended with no time left when Mike Wallace caught a 19-yard touchdown pass as the Steelers beat Green Bay 37-36.
Roethlisberger passed for a team-record 503 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Big Ben talks about the win:
“To win it like that, I think it shows a lot of heart. It opens up something inside of all of us to say ‘You know what, this team never quits, it never backs down and fights to the end.'”
For detailed game news, click here.
The pulsating victory allowed the Steelers to improve to 7-7, and they are one of 10 AFC teams competing for four remaining playoff berths. Several AFC wildcard contenders lost today, which improves the Steelers chances of nabbing a playoff spot.
“Not dead yet,” Tomlin said. “We’re on life support here in terms of staying in the hunt for the playoffs, so we can’t save anything.”
The Steelers face another must-win situation Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens visit Heinz Field for a 1 p.m. game.
Time is running out to get your Pro Bowl votes in for Keisel! Fan voting ends later today, so please keep voting. There is no limit, so you can vote as many times as you want. The link is on the right side of this page under 2010 Pro Bowl
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to cast your vote for #99!
December 17, 2009
STEELERS SPEAK: BRETT KEISEL
Brett is interviewed by Bob Labriola in the latest edition of Steelers Speak. Keisel discusses making the team as a late pick, the defensive schemes and what motivates him.
Click here to watch the interview. Then click on Steelers Speak-Brett Keisel.
It was reported that Brett was limited in practice Wednesday due to an injury from the Browns game. Coach Tomlin said Keisel suffered a stinger during the game, but he was able to return and finish the game.
December 16, 2009
PRO BOWL UPDATE AND AUCTION NEWS
Fan voting for the 2010 Pro Bowl is coming to an end on December 21. Please keep voting to send Brett to his 1st Pro Bowl!
Currently, Keisel is 5th in voting for defensive ends with approximately 99,994 votes. Thank you to all who voted and continue to vote.
Remember…you vote…#99 plays!
The link is on the right side of this page, under the heading of Pro Bowl.
Would you like to win some autographed items from Superbowl XLIII?
Well, if you are the highest bidder, you could win a four-pack of items signed by Brett. They include a hat, DVD, t-shirt and a Terrible Towel.
Homeless cats and dogs in Northwest Wyoming owe a lot to a Pittsburgh Steelers’ player. Defensive End Brett Keisel is donating his autographed Super Bowl memorabilia to an animal shelter there.
Barbara Greene started the shelter in her home. She’s asking people to adopt the animals, and help pay to have them neutered. She got a big helping hand from a big man in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive End Brett Keisel offered autographed items from Super Bowl 43 for an internet auction benefiting Greene’s shelter called Felines and Friends. But why would a Superbowl star help a tiny animal shelter in the tiny town of Basin? Keisel is Greene’s nephew.
Keisel’s best friend, Michael McGuire explained why the big man on the field has a soft heart for animals, “They’ve got two dogs and he treats them like they were his kids. He really loves animals.”
To read the entire article, click here.
Time is running out…
The auction ends on December 17, so you need to get your bid in soon! Click here to bid or view the items on EBay.
December 11, 2009
STEELERS STUNNED BY BROWNS
Steelers 6, Browns 13
In frigid conditions, the Browns found a way to do something they had not done in Cleveland since 2000. They beat the Steelers.
Pittsburgh’s record is now 6-7 on the season.
The Steelers defense stopped the Browns from scoring any points in the second half, but the Browns defense held strong too, allowing no touchdowns by the Steelers all night.
For game news, click here.
Brett had five tackles during the game.
Since the team played on Thursday night, they have a bit longer to prepare to beat the Packers. The Steelers are made up of veteran players, and they will find a way to pull together and turn things around next week!
For game photos, click here.
Game time change:
The December 20th game versus the Packers will now be at 4:15 p.m. due to NFL Flex Scheduling.
December 7, 2009
“IT’S BEEN AMAZING WATCHING HER GROW UP”
Excerpts from an article by Teresa Varley (Steelers.com):
When Brett Keisel first hosted the Cystic Fibrosis 65 Roses Sports Auction a few years ago it was a way for him to get involved in the community. Now it’s a passion, something that has deep meaning for him.
And there is a good reason. The first year he hosted Keisel met Emma Chichilla, who serves as one of the CF Ambassadors. Her innocence and strength, battling a tough disease, got to Keisel.
“It’s gotten personal for me and my family because we met Emma when I first hosted it,” said Keisel. “She stole our hearts. We are happy with the way things are going. I think Cystic Fibrosis is close to coming up with a cure. People are living 20 years longer than usual. Anything we can do to help we love to do.”
Keisel remains in touch with Chichilla and was happy to see her again at the event this year, as the now seven-year old and him have become good friends.
“It’s crazy,” said Keisel. “She tells me when I missed a tackle or if I did something. It’s been amazing watching her grow up. She has a lot of knowledge now versus when I first met her.”
“These kids pull at my heart,” said Keisel. “I look forward to coming and seeing them and see how much they have grown and changed.”
And what Keisel might not realize is that relationship, along with others he has formed with kids with cystic fibrosis, has gone a long way.
“He can piece together and see he is making a difference in their lives by being here,” said Pat Joseph, the executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis. “He has come to embrace the children that are fighting for life. He has grown with us. He knows what he is talking about. Sometimes I feel he knows the science and research better than I do.
To read the entire article, click here.
For photos from the event, there is a link in the Keisel Kam section-on right side of this page. There is also a link and news in the December 4th news.
I also added a few game photos from yesterday. Click here to see them.
December 6, 2009
Steelers 24, Raiders 27
Louis Murphy caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bruce Gradkowski with nine seconds remaining, his second score in the final 5½ minutes, and the Oakland Raiders scored three late touchdowns to stun Pittsburgh 27-24 on Sunday.
The Steelers went ahead 24-20 on Ben Roethlisberger’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward with 1:56 remaining, only to have the Raiders rally and win the game.
After three quarters in which there was little scoring – the Steelers led 10-6 at the end of three – and long stretches of inactivity, the fourth quarter suddenly become a back-and-forth duel between revived offenses in which the lead changed five times in the final 8½ minutes.
Brett had eight tackles during the game. He and the defense got a lot of pressure on Gradkowski throughout the game.
To read more game news, click here.
To see Brett’s post-game interview, click here.
I will add game photos Monday, so check back!
December 4, 2009
65 ROSES SPORTS AUCTION
Brett hosted the 65 Roses Sports Auction again this year, which benefits Cystic Fibrosis.
He is shown with Emma, a Cystic Fibrosis ambassador who attends the event each year also.
Attendees were able to enjoy dinner, a sports auction and an autograph signing with Brett and his teammates. Some of the players who attended were Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Heath Miller and Hines Ward.
To see photos of Brett, click here.
To see all photos from the event, click here. Then click on 65 Roses Sports Auction.
December 2, 2009
YOU VOTE…#99 PLAYS
Time is running out for Pro Bowl voting.
If you want to see Keisel in Miami for the 2010 Pro Bowl, you need to VOTE! Fan voting ends on December 21.
The NFL released the top “vote getters” at each postion as of November 30, and so far Dwight Freeney of the Colts leads at the DE position. So, it is important to vote now…and vote often. It’s free, easy and there are no restrictions on the amount of times you vote.
YOU VOTE…#99 PLAYS!
The link to voting is on the right side of this page, under Pro Bowl.
Steelers Digest had a great article on Brett in their last issue. Click here to read it.
November 30, 2009
“WE’VE GOT TO WIN OUT”
Steelers 17, Ravens 20
Brett’s comment after the overtime loss to the Ravens:
“We made some big plays, but not enough of them. We’ve got to win out. There’s no other ifs, ands or buts. We’ve got to win out in order for us to be playing in January.”
The Steelers were without Ben Roethlisberger, their starting quarterback, and his backup, Charlie Batch. They headed into the game with their third string quarterback-Dennis Dixon. Up until the Baltimore game, he had thrown one pass in the NFL. The team was also without Troy Polamalu. But, if the Ravens thought they had an easy win coming their way, they were wrong.
Nobody counted on the play of second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon making things interesting.
Dixon, making his first career start, ran for one touchdown and threw for another. It was his first mistake, however, that did the Steelers in.
Dixon was intercepted by rookie Paul Kruger on third-and-five from midfield in overtime and Kruger returned the ball to the Pittsburgh 28 to set up a 29-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff that lifted Baltimore to a 20-17 victory.
For four quarters, Dixon looked like a player who had been playing in the NFL for years. Dixon completed threw for 145 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score with 6:32 left in the game to give the Steelers (6-5) their first lead of the game.
The touchdown was the culmination of a drive that began when the Ravens committed a costly turnover after quarterback Joe Flacco was strip-sacked by Lawrence Timmons, with the ball recovered by Brett Keisel.
The defense harassed Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco all night, sacking him five times.
To read more about the game, click here.
Click here to check out game pictures.
Brett will be hosting the 65 Roses Sports Auction on December 3. Details are in the Events and Appearancessection on the right side of this page.
November 25-26, 2009
All turkeys beware…
…Keisel’s theory on birds:
‘If it flies, it dies.’ “ Brett was talking about pheasants when he said that, but just in case… any wild turkeys in his vicinity may want to go into hiding!
Brett’s friend and teammate, Ben Roethlisberger is featured on the cover of USA Today Sports Weekly, and he talks about being the hunter versus the hunted.
“I like being the hunter – not the hunted,” Roethlisberger says. “I realize that if you are the hunted, it means you’re on top. To me, I want to hunt you – then beat you at the end. To go undefeated would be a great feat. But all the crap that goes with it – everybody chasing you – well, I want to be the guy who sneaks up from behind. That’s just my mentality.”
“Ducks, geese, pheasant, quail, grouse – anything with wings,” the quarterback says of his fondness for hunting. “In the words of my teammate Brett Keisel: ‘If it flies, it dies.'”
Thanks to Erin, from Big Ben News for sending the quote to me. Visit her site to see Ben’s cover and to read more of the article.
Thanksgiving greetings from the Steelers:
Click here to watch a video featuring Steelers players sharing their Thanksgiving greetings with Steelers Nation and the military.
Brett and his family attended teammate Deshea Townsend’s Black and Gold Art Show this week. Click here to view photos from the event.
Information about Townsend’s event was posted in the November 18th news.
I received the following email from Rita Bennett:
Hi Trish! I just wanted to share with you a little fan story. It was one of the pre season games this season, and my son who happens to be a youth football coach and President for Thomas Jefferson (TJ), and my grandson Andrew “Stinger” were representing their football league during pre game festivities. They were standing in line and Brett and his teammates were warming up. Andrew stood there watching in amazement in his black & gold team jersey (by the way, his football number is #99). My son said he saw Brett look over their way but never thought anything of it. Well, Brett walked over and shook my grandson’s hand and took his (Brett’s) hat off and gave it him. Well need I say anymore…Andrew wears that hat everywhere. I just want to say thank you to Brett for being so kind and for being a genuine # 1 player. I wear a Brett jersey and have been since last season. I just think he is one of the best players in the NFL.Thanks for letting me share this little story with you.
Rita’s son, David Beatty sent a picture of his son (Andrew “Stinger” Murdy) wearing the hat Brett gave him.
Click here to see the photo.
Thank you to Rita, David and Andrew for sharing their fan encounter!
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE THANKSGIVING!
November 22, 2009
STEELERS LOSE IN OVERTIME
Steelers 24, Chiefs 27
From Scott Brown, Tribune Review:
Following perhaps the most unexpected loss of the Mike Tomlin era, a come-from-ahead defeat against a team that had not won at home this season until Sunday, Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton said what had to be going through every mind in a hushed and cramped visiting locker room.
“There was no doubt in my mind we were going to win,” Hampton said.
The Steelers didn’t just drop a 27-24 overtime stunner to the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday. They also lost Ben Roethlisberger on the first possession of overtime when the franchise quarterback took a knee to the head.
Click here to read the whole article.
The Steelers are 6-4 and will play Baltimore next week.
Brett had two tackles during the game.
Coach Tomlin did not have much news on Ben’s injury after the game. He said it was “concussion-oriented” in nature. Also, Chris Kemoeatu suffered an MCL sprain in the game.
I have only located one game photo of Brett so far. Click here to see it.
Keisel talks about Steeler Nation:
“One of the reasons we’re so lucky to be playing for the Steelers is that no matter where we are on the road, we feel the love from Steeler Nation. I can’t tell you how many road games we played when our fans are more into the game than [home team] fans.”
November 20, 2009
KEISEL: UNSUNG HERO OF STEELERS
From Scott Brown, Tribune Review:
LaMarr Woodley called Brett Keisel the “most underrated defensive end in the NFL.”
James Farrior probably wouldn’t argue with something else Woodley said earlier this week: that Keisel merits consideration for the Pro Bowl. “Best year since I’ve been here,” Farrior said when asked how Keisel has been playing.
By applying the transitive property to Farrior’s claim, Keisel is having the best year of his career since both players joined the Steelers in 2002.
Keisel leads the Steelers in quarterback pressures (16) and is tied for second in sacks (three). He has also proved to be a stabilizing force up front since the Steelers lost Aaron Smith to a season-ending shoulder injury.
“Losing a great player like that we have no time to hold our heads down and (say): ‘Man, what are we going to do without (No.) 91?’ ” Keisel said of Smith, his close friend and former mentor. “I know it was an opportunity for me to step up and show my teammates what I was capable of and that we can still keep this bus moving.”
It wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say Keisel has elevated his play since Smith got hurt. That is because his coaches and teammates say the eighth-year veteran has been playing at a high level since early September, when the Steelers officially began the defense of their Super Bowl title.
“When you grade the tape, you see a guy that makes a lot of plays,” Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell said. “He plays under the radar.”
Added defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau: “He had two tremendous years the past two years, but he’s playing better than that right now.”
LaMarr Woodley: “I thought he should have went to the Pro Bowl last year. Playing in this 3-4 scheme, you do different things, so your sacks aren’t going to be as high. But the things (Keisel) does, as far as putting pressure on the quarterback, allowing guys like me and James (Harrison) coming off the edge to get sacks, have to count for something.”
To read the entire article (it is a great read), click here..
Also, click here to watch an interview with Steelers sports writers talking about Brett’s great season, and a quick interview with Keisel.
Pro Bowl voting…
…ends on December 21st. Keisel’s teammates strongly believe he deserves to go, and he’s having an amazing season. So, please take the time to vote for #99! The link is on the right side of this page.
I added a photo of Brett and his wife, Sarah from Charlie Batch’s event, In the Pocket. Clickhere to see it.
I also received some photos from Dave and Keri Bassili. They were in Pittsburgh to see the Steelers defeat the Browns, and also were able to meet Brett at an autograph signing at Hometown Sports. Dave was getting ready to deploy to Iraq-his fourth time. And, Keri has been there twice.
The couple are huge Steelers fans and Keri said Dave took his Terrible Towel and Steelers jersey to Iraq!
Both the Bassili’s were kind enough to share their photos from the visit to Pittsburgh. Clickhere to see some of them.
The photo above is of Dave Bassili with Brett. There is also a picture of Keri with Brett in the photo gallery.
Thanks so much to the Bassili’s for sharing their photos, and for all they have done (and continue to do) for our country.
November 18, 2009
NEWS AND NOTES
The Steelers are accustomed to using their helmets to help paint opposing teams black and blue, but some players are using them to express their artistic sides. Members of the Steelers teamed up with local artists to create their own signature designs as part of cornerback Deshea Townsend’s Pay It Forward Foundation.
Artist Duane Rieder worked with the players to create their helmet designs.
Defensive end Brett Keisel, an avid outdoorsman, designed a helmet with a buck and its pointy antlers.
Brett’s design can be seen above.
Want to own the helmet he designed…and help out a great cause?
Well, the helmets will be auctioned off on November 23rd at an event hosted by Deshea Townsend. The sale of all the helmets will help fund free health screenings in Townsend’s native Mississippi and Pittsburgh.
For more information on the event, and to buy tickets, click here.
To see photos of some other helmets designed by Brett’s teammates, click here.
Tomlin (during his weekly press conference) talks about Keisel:
“He’s been playing well all year. Brett is a solid, solid professional. He does a lot of dirty work. He’s really underappreciated. I think it’s the nature of the position he plays in our scheme, similar to Aaron Smith. There are a lot of people that ride the wave of destruction that he provides. I think on both of those sacks he was disruptive, but that’s nothing new for Brett Keisel. He’s appreciated on our team and in the locker room. That’s all that’s important to him.
Notes on Brett’s season so far (from steelcityinsider):
He leads the team in quarterback pressures/hurries, and he has three sacks and three pass knockdowns.
Pro Bowl voting reminder:
Please keep voting to send #99 to the Pro Bowl. Fan voting ends on December 21, so we need to ROCK THE PRO BOWL VOTE FOR #99! The voting link is to the right, on this page.
November 17, 2009
ADDITIONAL ROLES FOR KEISEL?
From John Harris, Tribune Review:
As a concession to potential injury and their status on the team, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin relieved Pro Bowl outside linebacker James Harrison and starting defensive end Brett Keisel of important special teams responsibilities.
It was 2007 all over again for the Steelers during Sunday’s special teams meltdown in a critical 18-12 loss to Cincinnati at Heinz Field. Only this time it wasn’t Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs returning kickoffs for 100 and 90 yards in the same game, or Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew’s backbreaking kickoff return in the AFC Wild Card playoff game. Pin this loss on the special teams for allowing another kickoff return for a touchdown, the third kickoff returned for a score against the Steelers in four games.
If Tomlin truly believes special teams are just as important as his offense and defense, he’ll shake up the lineup before Sunday’s game at Kansas City.
“It’s something we’ve worked on, something that obviously we’re aware of and it just seems to keep happening,” Keisel said. “I’m sure coach Tomlin is going to address it and I’m sure some moves are going to be made. Who knows? I might be at (my old position) again.”
The kickoff team needs bigger and faster athletes like Harrison and Keisel, who were longtime special teams mainstays. Starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons should also return to special teams, joining starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William Gay, who are already on the kickoff team. It’s no coincidence that the performance of the special teams has slacked off since the departure of Harrison, Keisel and Timmons.
Sure, it’s a gamble to play starters on special teams because of the injury risk. Football is a violent enough sport as it is. Allowing key starters to also play special teams is the NFL’s version of Russian roulette. However, the Steelers can’t afford to lose any more games because of poor special teams play.
To read the entire article, click here.
Brett demonstrated what an asset he was to the Steelers early on in his career by his special teams standout play. He worked hard on special teams and later earned his position as a starter at defensive end for the team. So, seeing others not make the most of their opportunities probably surprises him.
Keisel talks about special teams :
It’s definitely something that has to be addressed. We can’t expect that to happen week in and week out and have a chance to win. Special teams is all about desire, desire and want-to — you want to get down there and make the play. Hopefully we can get things figured out there.”
There has been no official word, as of yet, on whether the Steelers are even considering making changes to their special teams. I will update if any news becomes available after Coach Tomlin’s press conference today.
Kudos to Keisel
From Scott Brown’s View From The Press Box:
Player of the game:
Defensive end Brett Keisel.
Keisel continued to play at a high level as he had four tackles against the Bengals and helped the Steelers limit Cincinnati to 61 rushing yards on 29 carries. He also got credited with a quarterback hurry, and he nearly intercepted a Carson Palmer pass deep in Steelers’ territory in the third quarter. A leaping Keisel got both hands on the Palmer pass near the line of scrimmage, and while he couldn’t hang onto it he forced the Bengals to settle for a 32-yard Shayne Graham field goal.
To read Brown’s entire article. click the link after his name.
Moving on after loss to the Bengals:
“There’s still a lot of football left,” Keisel said. “There’s still seven weeks left, which is almost half of the schedule. Sometimes things don’t work out for you, but we’re going to correct them and it’s onward and upward.”
October 31, 2009
STEELERS SUPPORT PROJECT BUNDLE UP
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
Winter is just around the corner and thanks to the efforts of the Steelers and Salvation Army, some young kids will be keeping warm on bitter cold days. Steelers’ players took kids from the North Side Salvation Army shopping at Macy’s at Ross Park Mall as a part of Project Bundle-Up, a Salvation Army program that provides winter outerwear for needy children in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“This year the waiting list is much longer because a lot of people who have been affected by the economy are coming to us,” said Major Robert Reel, the Salvation Army Division Commander. “The need is there. They have been laid off of work and are trying to hold down part time jobs.
“The players don’t have to do this. This is a night off for them. They take the time out of their schedule and come here and give time to the children. It is so valuable. The kids will never, ever forget it. I have been doing this for awhile and it warms my heart every time to see the players relate to the children and the children relate to them. They work so well together to get the items they need. The Steelers are fantastic at it. They really are great.”
Each player is paired with one of the kids and they set off on a shopping adventure to find a winter coat, hat, gloves and scarf, the perfect combination to fight off the winter chill.
To read the whole article, click here.
To see some photos of Brett at the event from this year and last, click here.
Please keep voting to send Brett to the Pro Bowl. The link to voting is on the right side of this page. Also, any upcoming events are listed to the right also under Events and Appearances.
The Steelers have a bye Sunday, and will take the field again on November 9 to play Denver. To get us through until the next game, click here to view highlights and interviews from previous games-including Keisel’s forced fumble from last week.
October 28, 2009
Brett will once again be hosting the 65 Roses Sports Auction to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. The event will be held at McFaddens on December 3rd.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.
For prices to attend, click here.
For photos from previous years, click here. There are five pages of photos.
I added the Pro Bowl voting link to the right side of this page. And, I added some (not all) of the various causes Mr. Keisel supports. You can read more about each cause, listed on the right side of page under Keisel Causes, through the links provided.
“Our Brett is better than your Brett”:
Thanks to Brett’s sister, Peggy I heard from the person who made the sign that was flashed on FOX last Sunday. Her name is Terrie, and she is obviously a huge Steelers and Keisel fan.
Peggy met Terrie at a Steelers vs. Jets game a couple years ago and describes her as “Brett’s number one fan.”
Terrie said she has not missed a Steelers home game in thirteen years. This may not seem extraordinary to local Pittsburgh fans, but Terrie is definitely not local. She and her husband (who dresses as Jesus to get fans going), drive to Pittsburgh from Connecticut for every home game! Terrie said they are both self described “crazy Steelers fans.”
From Peggy (Brett’s sister):
“It’s fans like these guys that our family truly appreciates. And, I just wanted to give a shout out to her (Terrie) and thank her for the sign. And I truly do love her and all of the great fans. Way to go Brett and all of the defensive line. You guys deserve a place in history along the likes of the Steel Curtain.”
Way to go Terrie for the great sign! If you missed seeing it on television, there is a picture in the October 25 news, and here.
I’ve received numerous emails asking about the sign, so thanks to Peggy for helping me get in touch with Terrie!
Steelers Digest gave Player of the Week honors to James Farrior for his great defensive play vs. the Vikings. Others considered for the weekly award were: Brett Keisel, Max Starks, Keyaron Fox and LaMarr Woodley.
November 15, 2009
BENGALS EDGE STEELERS
Steelers 12, Bengals 18
The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Steelers 18-12 today to sweep their two-game series and take the lead in the AFC North Division. Neither team scored a touchdown on offense. Jeff Reed kicked four field goals for the Steelers and Graham kicked three. The only touchdown came on a 96-yard kickoff return in the first quarter by Cincinnati rookie Bernard Scott.
From Jim Wexell:
It was a brilliant effort by a Steelers defense that came into the game hoping to hold one of the NFL’s most efficient red-zone teams to field goals instead of touchdowns. For the most part, the defense achieved its objective. “Well,” said coordinator Dick LeBeau, “our main objective is to win, and we didn’t get that done.”
The Steelers’ defense was good – despite losing strong safety Troy Polamalu to a knee injury in the first quarter – limiting Cincinnati to four third down conversions on 14 attempts.
Keisel on the loss:
“They made more plays today. But hopefully this is exactly what we needed. Hopefully we needed to get knocked down a little bit. You know, we’ve lost games before and responded. We’ve got to do that this time.”
Brett had four tackles, and although James Harrison was credited with a sack, it definitely was a shared sack with #99. He also had a great pass deflection.
Click here for game photos.
November 11, 2009-Thanks to all veterans
POST-GAME INTERVIEW WITH KEISEL
Semi-transcript of Brett’s post-game interview:
“It was a great win against a great team. We had some starters down and a lot of players stepped up big. That is what we need going into this last stretch.”
Keisel is asked about the defense trying to shut down the Broncos offense :
“That’s what we try and do every game. We feel like if we can do that we can unleash our blitzes, and teams have a hard time picking up what we can do. We got big play out of Troy Polamalu there in the back, and that pretty much sealed the game.”
To view Brett’s post-game interview, click here. Then just scroll down the list of interviews to get to Keisel’s.
From Scott Brown’s column in the Tribune-Review:
Telling statistic: The Broncos had just 59 yards of total offense and two first downs in the second half. A defense that struggled to close out games earlier this season completely owned the fourth quarter at Invesco Field. Troy Polamalu’s interception set up the Roethlisberger-to-Wallace touchdown pass that gave the Steelers an 11-point lead.
Meanwhile, the only first down the Broncos got in the fourth quarter came with less than a minute left in it when the Steelers were sitting on a 28-10 lead.
“I think we’re starting to trust each other, and everyone knows what we’re running and I think when everyone does that we’re a tough defense to move the ball on,” defensive end Brett Keisel said of the Steelers’ dominance in the fourth quarter.
From Broncos defensive end Kenny Peterson:
“They just outplayed us. There is a reason why they are the defending Super Bowl champions.”
Tomlin’s message to veterans and active military personnel-which aired on ESPN during Monday Night Football
“We appreciate the blanket protection that you guys provide. The sacrifice you make is not under appreciated. We really respect and admire what it is that you’re doing.”
Rock the Pro Bowl vote:
Please keep voting to send #99 to the Pro Bowl. The link is on the right side of this page.
For photos and news from the Denver game, check out the links in the November 10 news.
November 10, 2009
KEISEL SACKS IT TO DENVER
Steelers 28, Broncos 10
ESPN sports commentator Jon Gruden mentioned Monday night that he didn’t think anyone outside of Pittsburgh knew who Brett Keisel was? Well, that could not be further from the truth, but just in case Denver was not aware of who Keisel was prior to the game last night, they sure know who he is now!
Keisel made sure to personally introduce himself to Denver QB Kyle Orton–twice. Certainly not the kind of introduction Orton welcomed, but I am sure the veterans on hand for the game (and watching from home and overseas) appreciated Keisel’s salute (and sack dance).
From sports writer Jim Wexell:
“The salute to the veterans after Keisel’s first sack was first class. In fact, let that salute stand in behalf of all football fans. ”
From Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
The Steel Hurtin’ defense, playing without three starters, rose up in the mile-high altitude to deliver a crushing victory last night, the team’s fifth consecutive win. The Steelers dominated the Broncos and won, 28-10, despite losing two big turnovers of their own, one for a touchdown and another that prevented one. The victory lifted the Steelers’ record to 6-2 and a tie with Cincinnati atop the AFC North Division. The teams meet at 1 p.m. Sunday in Heinz Field. Denver lost its second in a row to drop to 6-2.
From Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
None of the pregame warnings regarding the ominous atmospherics of the Rocky Mountains foretold of the likelihood that two of the best teams in the AFC would be looking at each other upside down for most of the night, but five minutes deep in the third quarter, the defenses were scoring the touchdowns, the offenses were giving them up, and the respective special teams appeared to be conspiring toward some similarly unconventional climax.
Ty Carter’s 48-yard interception return to the Denver end zone in the second quarter meant that the Steelers’ defense had scored three touchdowns since the last time the offense had managed one.
When the offense suddenly sat bolt upright in the second half, going 80 yards on four plays to a 14-10 lead, the capacity crowd at Invesco Field was compelled to remember that despite the depletions in LeBeau’s defense, it was still thick with superstars. Polamalu was still flying, James Harrison still mauling, Brett Keisel still attacking everything that flashed in front of him. These are the people who make it possible for Mike Tomlin to insist that regardless of circumstances, the standard of expectation does not change. It’s no coincidence that the standard of excellence players like these have long since established and so consistently achieve turns into victories in difficult environments.
“We did what we try to do every game,” Keisel said when apprised of Denver’s second-half rushing total — 1 yard. “If we can make them one dimensional we can unleash our blitzes, people have a hard time picking up what we’re doing.”
The Steelers offense started out slow during the first half, but exploded through the second half. The Steelers defense, missing three (four counting Aaron Smith) players, held strong throughout the entire game. Orton and the Broncos were harassed the whole night by the Steelers defense. Orton had three passes intercepted (two picks by Carter and one by Polamalu), and he was sacked twice (thanks to #99). Keisel also jumped in to deflect an Orton pass, preventing the Broncos from setting up any chance of a come-back.
With the victory, Pittsburgh’s fifth straight, the Steelers set up a showdown with Cincinnati for first place in the AFC North. The Steelers will host the Bengals on November 15.
To read more about the big win over Denver, click on the respective links for the excerpts from Mr. Bouchette and Mr. Collier.
Please keep voting to send #99 to the Pro Bowl. The link is on the right side of this page.
…Ben Roethlisberger is nominated for Fed Ex Air player of the week after his performance Monday night. Click here to vote.
And, Mike Wallace is nominated for Rookie of the week. Click here to vote.
Great game by Keisel and the Steelers! Way to go #99!
October 26, 2009
“WE ANSWERED THE CALL”
Keisel talks about the defense:
“We feel like we have a really good defense. Today was a great test for us to go against a good offensive line, a great quarterback, a great running back. It was a big test for us and we answered the call.”
Buzz on Keisel’s play:
From View from the Press Box::
Play of the game: Brett Keisel’s strip and Woodley’s 77-yard fumble return.
How badly did the Steelers and their defense need Woodley’s first NFL touchdown? They had allowed the Vikings to drive from their own 3-yard line to the Steelers’ 8-yard line in the fourth quarter of a three-point game. They had also allowed Minnesota to convert three times on third down, including once when the Vikings needed 18 yards to move the chains.
With Favre poised to get the Vikings into the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown, Keisel knocked the ball out of the veteran quarterback’s right hand. That set the stage for Woodley, who followed his blocks as if he were a seasoned running back and weaved his way for the Steelers’ first defensive touchdown of the season.
From Ed Bouchette, Post Gazette::
You expect this kind of scoring burst when the NFL’s leading passer and the league’s resident Hall of Fame quarterback-in-waiting get together.
Fans jammed Heinz Field like never before to see it and they were treated to a blitzkrieg when the Steelers and Minnesota Vikings fired off three long touchdowns in the final 61/2 minutes yesterday. Only it was not Ben Roethlisberger nor Brett Favre who provided the rockets; those came from a Steelers defense too often on the other side in the fourth quarter this season, and another kickoff return by their opponent.
Another Brett — Keisel — joined Lamarr Woodley and Keyaron Fox to hijack the Roethlisberger and Favre Show as the Steelers’ defense held off the Vikings in a fourth-quarter flurry of big plays, 27-17.
Keisel talks about the big play:
“We practice that play every day as a team, we play as a team, and today we won as a team. I saw the ball there, I swiped at it, and it worked out for us.”
From Todd Fleming, analyst with Bleacher Reports:
Steelers Biggest “Offensive” Weapon Against Vikings? Brett Keisel
Against the Vikings, he was the Steelers’ most important “offensive” player. By my count, Keisel set up two touchdowns. It was Keisel who beat one of the highest regarded offensive linemen in football, Steve Hutchinson, to strip the football away from Brett Favre and set up the first defensive touchdown in the fourth quarter.
We’ll all remember watching Lamarr Woodley weave and dodge his way to paydirt. But, it was Keisel who set the play up and Woodley who was the beneficiary.
Fast forward to the second defensive touchdown. Minnesota was moving the ball seemingly at ease and looked poised to not just kick a tying field goal, but to put the ball in the end zone for the win.
The Vikings call a screen pass to Chester Taylor. Keisel smells it out, showing superb instincts. He slides down the line, creating a traffic jam around the intended target. Favre throws it anyway.
Just as the ball arrives, Keisel hits Taylor who lets the ball sail through his fingers into the waiting arms of Keyaron Fox. Again, we’ll remember watching Fox zigging and zagging his way to the end zone But, without Keisel correctly diagnosing the play, the interception doesn’t happen.
From a post-game interview with Brett:
Talking about the defense:
“Well, it was just… you know…we didn’t want to do anything over the top. We just wanted to be basic …everyone stay in our gaps, run to the ball…do the things we’ve always done around here. Rely on each other to make plays…and today I’m just proud of our defense. We stood up big. We scored two touchdowns..we had that big stop..you know when they had it down there on the couple inch line. Just a team effort…proud of our guys.”
Asked about his strip of Favre:
“I just tried to get on the edge..and I came around the corner and Brett (Favre) was just coming back into his throwing motion you know & I was just able to get a hand on the ball.”
Keisel talks about Brett Favre:
“What he brings to the table is still amazing to me — how he’s still one of the best in the league. “He’s a winner. He’s always been a winner. And it was a lot of fun to compete against him.”
Pro Bowl 2010
Time to send Brett to his 1st Pro Bowl! The voting has started. I will post a link to keep on the right side of this page sometime this week. For now, click here.
Once on the ballot page, click on AFC Defense, and then on Def. Ends. You can filter by team if you want. Voting is unlimited-so please vote often. Fans count for one third of the total votes so let’s show Keisel what great fans he has. He does his part on the field week after week…so we can do our part by voting for #99!
October 25, 2009
“OUR BRETT IS BETTER THAN YOUR BRETT”…
Steelers 27, Vikings 17
… from a sign held up by a Steelers fan during the game that was caught by FOX cameras. Great sign…and so true!
Today the Steelers, especially the defense, were definitely better than the “Vikings Brett”.
What a game for #99! He had a sack and forced fumble, which led to a LaMarr Woodley touchdown. Keisel also had four tackles.
Ben Roethlisberger on the Steelers defense:
“Our defense showed up in big way & it was fun to watch ’em,” Ben said during his post game interview. “I enjoyed watching them play, today they showed up when we needed them to. They did it.”
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
It was a defensive battle from the onset and it was only fitting that two defensive touchdowns sealed the Steelers 27-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The win improves the Steelers record to 5-2 heading into their bye week, while the 6-1 Vikings suffered their first loss of the season.
“They pounded a couple in on us but we stayed in the fight, guys didn’t blink and to their credit, we were able to win the game,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “When you put a couple of splash plays defensively; you put 14 points on the board defensively you can overcome a lot of errors.
Brett Favre opened it up for the Vikings with an eight-yard completion to Sidney Rice, but the defense brought pressure fast. James Harrison knocked Adrian Peterson for a one-yard loss and Ryan Clark pressured Favre, forcing an incompletion to Percy Harvin and a punt.
The defense continued to bring it on the next series when James Farrior sacked Favre for an eight-yard loss back to the Vikings 10-yard line. Chester Taylor managed a four-yard carry, but on third down the defense shut them down again.
The defensive battle continued on the next drive. After allowing the Vikings their first first down of the game, Troy Polamalu busted through to knock Peterson for a three-yard loss. Woodley followed that up by sacking Favre for a six-yard loss. On third down a swarming defense wasn’t letting Taylor go anywhere, stuffing the middle for no gain.
Chris Kluwe’s19-yard punt gave the Steelers the ball with excellent field position at the Vikings 39-yard line to start their next drive. Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for three yards and Mike Wallace was able to pull in a 10-yard reception. Wallace went around left end on the reverse for 13 yards and tight end David Johnson caught his first NFL pass for four-yards. Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes near the goal line for what appeared to be a seven-yard touchdown, but a pass interference call negated the score. The Steelers had to settle for a 39-yard Jeff Reed field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The defense came back strong, though, knocking Peterson for a two-yard loss and pressuring Favre on third down, forcing an incompletion.
The momentum continued in the Steelers favor to start the second half. Mendenhall took it for 16 yards and Wallace for six, with a 15-yard face mask against Pat Williams tacked on. Mendenhall went off right tackle for nine yards and on third-and-one Roethlisberger took it for two yards, and was hit out of bounds by Benny Sapp who was flagged for a personal foul, giving the Steelers the ball at the eight-yard line. The Vikings tightened their grip near the goal line, holding the black and gold to a 27-yard field goal by Jeff Reed, extending the lead to 13-7. The Vikings looked primed to take the lead when Favre drove them down to the one-yard line, with the key play a 34-yard completion to Rice. With their backs against the wall the defense came up big once again, stopping them three straight times in their effort to gain a yard. Instead of seven, the Vikings had to settle for an 18-yard Ryan Longwell field goal, pulling them within a field goal at 13-10.
The Steelers failed to score, and Minnesota got the ball back. On third down, Brett Keisel sacked Favre for a 15-yard loss, forcing a fumble. Woodley recovered the ball at the 23-yard line and rambled down the field for a 77-yard touchdown, putting the Steelers up 20-10. The Vikings fired right back. Harvin was able to avoid the coverage on the kickoff and took it back 88 yards for a touchdown, bringing them back within a field goal at 20-17.
The Vikings defense was able to hold the Steelers on their next drive.With a record crowd at Heinz Field on the edge of their seats the Vikings came fighting back. But once again, the defense stepped up big. With second-and-three from the 19-yard line and 1:15 on the clock, Fox intercepted Favre and returned it 82-yards to seal a 27-17 win.
For Brett’s post-game interview: Click here. Tomorrow, I will do a semi transcript of it.
For game photos of Keisel, click here.
Also, from Run Tellman Run:
They will be auctioning off a Keisel autographed football to raise money for The Hub Outreach Center (a youth center in Pittsburgh). The ball is from the fumble recovery Keisel had during the Browns game next week. I will post more information when it is available.
October 22, 2009
Brett and his family visited The Hub Outreach Centerlast week with Tellman Knudson.
Tellman is is running barefoot across the country to raise money for youth homelessness in America.
Tellman keeps an online journal detailing his amazing journey. To read it, click here.
Some excerpts from his visit with Brett:
“Brett is just an awesome, stand-up individual. He only gets one day off per week from his grueling Steelers schedule, and he chose to spend it with the RunTellmanRun crew (not to mention the media circus), and help us raise awareness of youth homelessness. We both signed an official Steelers football, which will be auctioned off soon to raise funding for The Hub (stay tuned for the auction).”
“But, the shining moment came when Brett actually left. We were preparing to leave ourselves, when he popped back into the room with a scuffed-up football in his hand. It was the very ball Brett recovered after the Cleveland Browns coughed up a fumble during this past Sunday’s game. His defensive prowess on that play sealed the victory for the Steelers. Brett autographed the ball right there and handed it to Melissa, our PR gal. We’ll be auctioning it off as well to raise money for The Hub.”
“See what I mean? A real stand-up guy, that Brett Keisel. I hope I meet more people like him as we move across the country.”
To read the whole story about the visit or to donate to runtellmanrun, click here.
Thanks so much to Luke Q. Stafford, Tellman’s PR representative for allowing me to use the photos he took.
I posted a permanant link to Tellman’s site on the right side of this page. We can keep up with his travels, and hopefully help him to raise awareness and money for his great cause! Please take the time to read about what Tellman is doing.
To view photos from The Hub visit, click here.
October 20, 2009
KEISEL GOES FOR A RUN
One of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starters took time from the football field to join one man’s barefoot journey Tellman Knudson is running barefoot across the country to raise money for youth homelessness in America.
Knudson’s journey began on Sept. 9 in New York City and made a stop on Tuesday at a homeless relief program in the Strip district. Steelers Lineman Brett Keisel met Knudson at “The Hub” on Tuesday to join in for a barefoot photo-op.
“I’ve always appreciated children,” said Keisel. “I’ve always loved kids and to help them. Sometimes we get put in situations where we can be a factor just showing up.
The barefoot runner is trying to raise $100 million for youth homelessness in the United States. “And I said, ‘if we’re going to set a goal that big, we have to do something to get a lot of attention for it,’” said Knudson.
To see a video of Brett running with Tellman, click here.
To read more about Tellman, and his amazing journey, click here.
Brett’s post-game interview:
Steelers.com fixed the audio problems in Keisel’s post-game interview. It only took one (ok… four) email requests from me asking them to fix the problem.
Click here to watch the interview.
Highlights from the interview:
Question:“Timmons credited you guys (defensive line) play for the reason he was able to get two sacks. What do you have to say about that?”
Keisel:“I’d have to agree (laughs). No, it’s a team effort. You know, we’re out there together trying to win. We fight together as a team. We win and lose as a team.”
Question:“What about your almost interception?”
Keisel:“Crush me! I couldn’t believe it. You know, I knew I batted it…I did feel the ball go through my hands and I tell our offensive guys ‘if you touch the ball you should catch it’, so I called myself responsible.”
Question: Keisel is asked about playing Brett Favre and the Vikings.
Keisel:“Great team-legendary quarterback. Always a big fan of his (Favre).
Question: Keisel is asked about wearing #4 in high school.
Keisel: “Brett’s got a great first name…I’m a big fan.”
Question: He is asked about Troy Polamalu returning and his INT in Browns game.
Keisel:“The interception, in my opinion, was the biggest play of the game. They were in our red zone. He’s the greatest player in the league. To have him back is huge.”
I shortened many of the questions and answers…just wanted to highlight some of it. So, be sure to watch the video to hear the entire interview.
October 18, 2009
KEISEL HAS BIG GAME IN WIN OVER BROWNS
Steelers 27, Browns 14
The Steelers offense put up big numbers and the defense came up with some key turnovers as they defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-14 at Heinz Field. The win improves the Steelers record to 4-2 on the season, while the Browns drop to 1-5.
Ben Roethlisberger had his second 400-yard passing game of his career, completing 23 passes for 417 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers had two 100-yard receivers, with Hines Ward having eight receptions for 159 yards and Santonio Holmes five catches for 104 yards.
The Steelers defense harassed Browns QB Derek Anderson all day, causing interceptions, sacks and fumbles.
Anderson took the blame for the miserable offensive showing, but he had no support. He was 9-of-24 for 122 yards.
Anderson’s snappy touchdown drive to begin the second half brought the Browns to within 17-14. But after Roethlisberger responded with his own TD march in just over three minutes, Pittsburgh coordinator Dick LeBeau turned up the heat and forced strip-sacks of Anderson on successive possessions in the third quarter. “That first one got them amped up and fed their momentum,” Eric Steinbach (Browns offensive lineman) said.
Once again the Steelers responded thanks to a few big plays. Roethlisberger hit a wide open Ward for 45 yards to the Browns 23-yard line. Wallace got the carry on the reverse and took it around right end, carrying defenders to the two-yard line for a 21-yard gain. Mendenhall finished things off with a two-yard carry for the touchdown and 24-14 lead.
The Browns got the ball back, didn’t maintain possession for long. Anderson was sacked by Lawrence Timmons, forcing a fumble that James Harrison recovered. But two plays later Parker fumbled and Elam came up with the recovery.
The turnovers didn’t stop there. Anderson was sacked again by Timmons, forcing another fumble, this one recovered by Brett Keisel.“The D-line made it easier for me,” Timmons said.
After Keisel’s fumble recovery, Mendenhall fumbled and the Bowens came up with the recovery.
After the defense held, the Steelers were able to drive down field, culminating in a 39-yard Reed field goal to extend the lead to 27-14. The Browns tried to mount a comeback late, but Ryan Clark stepped up big, intercepting Anderson at the one-yard line to bring their drive to a halt.
#99 had six tackles, a fumble recovery and was credited with a pass deflection-which almost led to an intereption (it looked to me like Keisel had two pass deflections, but was credited officially with one). He also had several QB pressures throughout the game! Way to go!
To see photos from the game, click here.
Although happy for the win, Brett realizes the team still has many games to play:
It doesn’t mean anything right now,” Keisel said. “It means we dug ourselves out of a hole a little bit but I don’t think it’s time to pat ourselves on the back.”
For Brett’s post game interview, click here.
The audio for the interview was very choppy last night, hopefully it will be fixed soon.
Congratulations to Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller:
Ben tied Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw for first on the Steelers All-Time list with 31 career 100-plus passer rating games. And, Heath Miller scored his 25th touchdown yesterday, passing Eric Green to move into second place in team history among tight ends.
October 17, 2009
KEISEL TO VISIT THE HUB OUTREACH CENTER
Pittsburgh, Penn. Brett Keisel, starting defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers, will shake hands with a Vermont man running barefoot across America on Tuesday when the two share lunch with residents of The Hub, a homeless relief program of Three Rivers Youth located in the Strip district.
Knudson is running barefoot across America to raise $100,000,000.00 to aid homeless youth in a project called RunTellmanRun. He left New York City on Sept. 9 and hopes to reach Los Angeles by mid-winter. He is currently approaching Pittsburgh on Rte. 130, averaging about 20 miles per day, and plans to run through downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Keisel — no stranger to local and national charities, including a chair position with the Homeless Children’s Education Fund — and his wife, Sarah, will meet the residents of The Hub to better understand their situation. Knudson is there to meet residents and learn about The Hub’s recent loss of federal funding and to discuss remedies.
The 285-pound Keisel, owner of two Superbowl rings, and the 150-pound Knudson, owner of several successful internet marketing companies, plan to autograph a football that will later be auctioned to raise money for Three Rivers Youth, the organization that runs The Hub.
“I can’t thank Brett enough for agreeing to meet,” said Knudson while on break from his run in Greensburg yesterday. “He is obviously respected in Pittsburgh, and he’s going to be a great help in shining a floodlight on the problem of youth homelessness in this country.”
While running through State College on October 7, Knudson visited the Stepping Stone youth shelter and pledged the next $10,000 in donations to renovate its kitchens.
“When I heard this guy, Tellman, was running across the country for charity, I wanted to meet him,” said Keisel after practice today with the Steelers. ” And when I heard he was raising $100,000,000 for homeless kids, and running barefoot, I knew I had to meet him.”
Keisel added, “What an amazing feat for such an important cause. My wife and I are honored to be a part of it.”
About The Hub:
The Hub is an outreach and drop-in center for runaway and homeless youth 21 and under. It maintains a street team to identify and recruit youth in need of immediate services like food, clothing, laundry and shower facilities. Assessment, counseling and crisis intervention are available, followed by aftercare and links to services like permanent housing, jobs or job training, health care and legal services. The Hub is a program of Three Rivers Youth, based in Pittsburgh.
To read more about Mr. Knudson and RunTellmanRun, please click here.
October 14, 2009
Aaron Smith placed on IR:
During his regular weekly news conference yesterday, Coach Mike Tomlin revealed that Aaron Smith had injured his right shoulder, and that the situation “potentially could be significant.”
It turned out to be precisely that, and the Steelers placed Smith on the injured reserve list because of the shoulder injury. The injured reserve list means Smith’s season is over.
When asked yesterday about the team’s options in light of Smith’s injury, Tomlin said, “The usual suspects. Travis Kirschke, Nick Eason and Ziggy Hood.”
To read the whole article, and the Steelers plans, click here.
Smith will be greatly missed on the field, but his leadership will still be there. Best wishes to him and his family.
Parker and Polamalu:
Tomlin announced in his press conference yesterday that both Willie Parker and Troy Polamalu will practice this week.
Tomlin talks about Cleveland’s offense:
Joe Thomas at left tackle is a perennial Pro Bowl-caliber player. He’s always had fierce battles and competitions with James Harrison. That’s going to be a premium matchup in the football game, one that we’re going to keep a close eye on. Of course, we desire to apply pressure to the quarterback and James has done that for us consistently. He faces a stiff challenge in Joe Thomas. Beside him is (Eric) Steinbach. They formulate a tough left side and I’m sure they’ll be focused on running the football over there, so James Harrison and Brett Keisel have to be ready to go in that regard.
October 12, 2009
STEELERS GET THE ROAD WIN
Steelers 28, Lions 20
The Steelers held off a late Detroit Lions rally with a flurry of sacks for a 28-20 win.
The Steelers were taken to the wire for the fifth time in five games this season, but three consecutive sacks turned back a Detroit Lions upset bid and the Steelers held on for a 28-20 win.
The 3-2 Steelers took a 28-13 lead into the fourth quarter, and once again their opponent rallied. The 1-4 Lions drove 82 yards to cut the lead to eight points with a 25-yard Daunte Culpepper touchdown pass to Dennis Northcutt with 4:57 left in the game.
The Steelers punted and the Lions began another drive from their 29 with 3:07 left. Culpepper’s 21-yard pass to Northcutt on 3rd-and-19 put the ball at the Pittsburgh 21 with 1:54 remaining, but pressure cornerback William Gay and linebacker LaMarr Woodley sacked Culpepper, and then Gay sacked him again on second down. On 3rd-and-21, Lawrence Timmons came on a delayed blitz up the middle to sack Culpepper, who was forced to throw up a long pass on 4th-and-34 that was batted away by Ike Taylor at the goal line.
The Steelers sacked Culpepper seven times, three by James Harrison. Gay and Woodley had 1.5 apiece.
Ben Roethlisberger was once again the offensive star. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns for a passer rating of 123.9.
The Steelers outgained the Lions by only 344-335, while the Lions converted 11 of 18 third downs and had a 5:10 advantage in time of possession.
RG Trai Essex and FS Ryan Clark were injured in the game, but returned to finish. DE Aaron Smith missed the final defensive series. Coach Mike Tomlin was not asked about Smith in the post-game press conference.
Brett had three solo tackles.
To view game photos of Brett, click here.
To view photos of Brett and his family from the Steelers Fashion show, check out the news from October 9.
October 9, 2009
KEISEL WALKS THE RUNWAY
Brett and his family participated in the annual Steelers Style Fashion Show.
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
For one night fashion took precedence over football when Steelers Style 09 was held at Heinz Field. The team’s annual fashion show featured players and their families modeling the latest styles from Reebok, Nordstrom and American Eagle in a show filled with plenty of energy and excitement. Art and Greta Rooney and Mike and Kiya Tomlin served as the chairpersons for the event, which benefitted the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Cancer Caring Center.
Fashions varied from Reebok Steelers t-shirts and sweatshirts to tuxedos and custom suits.
To view photos of Brett at the event, click here.
To view a video of the Keisel family arriving, where Brett shows off his runway “strut” , clickhere.
Then click on the video entitled, “Steelers Walk the Runway for Charity.” If the video does not show in the current listings, you can type the title of the video into the search bar on the video page.
It was reported that the event raised $750,000!
October 6, 2009
UPCOMING STEELERS EVENTS
Steelers Style Fashion Show:
The Fashion Show will be on October 8th, and is being hosted by Heath Miller and Ike Taylor.
The annual Steelers Style Fashion Show features current Steelers players and their families walking the runway and entertaining the attendees with Steelers Style 09.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.
Bid for Hope:
This event will be held on October 19th and is hosted by Heath and Katie Miller. Many of Miller’s teammates, including Mr. Keisel attend each year. The event benefits breast cancer research. Attendees are able to get autographs from players and receive a great gift bag, while supporting a great cause!
For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.
In the Pocket with Charlie Batch:
This event will be held on November 16 and benefits Batch’s reading and computer literacy program.
It is attended by many of Mr. Batch’s teammates, and offers friendly competitions with the players in pool, ping-pong and more!
For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.
Please be aware, although Mr. Keisel has attended two of these events in the past, I do not know if he will be there this year. The events are always attended by many Steelers players every year. You can also visit the Photo Gallery on this site to view photos of Brett’s attendance in the past.
October 4, 2009
STEELERS HOLD ON TO DEFEAT CHARGERS
Steelers 38, Chargers 28
The Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers met for a primetime clash on NBC.
San Diego attempted to exorcise the ghosts of Heinz Field, the site of the team’s 35-24 defeat to the Steelers in last January’s AFC divisional playoffs.
The Steelers led from the get-go and this time around they were able to hold off a late rally and defeat the San Diego Chargers 38-28 at Heinz Field.
The game wasn’t without its tense moments when the Chargers scored 14 points late in the fourth quarter, but the Steelers weren’t going to be denied. The win evens the Steelers record at 2-2 and pulls them back into the mix in a tough AFC North.
“It’s great to get back on the winning column for us, we’re excited about that,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Guys stepped up and made significant plays. Enough plays for us to win tonight. It’s good to be back in Heinz Field in front of our fans. We will stack this win and move on; new week, new challenges.”
Rashard Mendenhall, who didn’t play an offensive snap against the Bengals after a poor week of preparation, showed his resiliency with a standout performance. Mendenhall had 29 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger completed 26 of 33 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, with Hines Ward pulling in eight receptions for 111 yards and Heath Miller coming up with two touchdown receptions.
The defense stymied the Chargers ground game, allowing a measly 16 yards rushing and forcing the Chargers to rely solely on their passing game.
The defense was swarming on the opening drive, knocking LaDainian Tomlinson for a one-yard loss after a short completion. Aaron Smith pressured Philip Rivers, forcing an incomplete pass to Tomlinson and on third down Rivers could not connect with Chris Chambers.
San Diego’s offense got moving on their next drive when Rivers hit Vincent Jackson for 15 yards and Legedu Naanee for 12 yards to their own 42-yard line. The defense clamped down after that, not allowing another yard and forcing another Chargers’ punt.
The Steelers looked set for a big win, but the Chargers ended up making the game close. In the fourth quarter, Philip Rivers threw touchdown passes of 30 yards to Antonio Gates and 13 yards to Chris Chambers. Also, Jacob Hester scored on a 41-yard fumble return.
But Jeff Reed finished the game off for the Steelers with a 46-yard field goal in the final minute. And, James Harrison’s sack-strip on San Diego’s final play clinched the win for the black and gold.
From Mike Prisuta:
When the quarterback holds the ball against the Steelers he’s going to get flushed and throw it away, he’s going to get chased and wind up wasting a play, and he’s going to get sacked and fumble it away. Philip Rivers experienced all of those things against the Steelers because he had the audacity to stand in the pocket on Sunday night and try to beat the Steelers deep.
To view game photos of Brett, click here.
October 2, 2009-see afternoon edition below
NEW PHOTOS AND A FAN ENCOUNTER
I have finally added most of my photos from the game last week. Click here to see them. You can enlarge the photos by clicking on the photo, and then if you click again you will have a closer view.
There are about two pages of photos.
I received an email from Brad Hall after the Bengals game. He attended the game with his son, Tristan. Brad is a Bengals season ticket holder, but he said his son insisted on wearing a Steelers jersey (smart boy!) and sitting on the Steelers side during pre-game warm-ups.
From Mr. Hall:
My 6yr old was yelling for the Steelers players, when Brett walked over to my son and gave him his gloves. This was pre-game and he was 1 of 2 players that made it all the way to the fans. I have been to several games, and players just don’t do that in pre-game. Not any of the teams.
I would just like for you to post these pictures to show how we appreciate him and how he made my son’s day. Tristan Hall says thanks!! It was very cool of him to do that, and we say thanks again Brett!
To view a couple pictures the Hall’s sent, click here. You can enlarge them by clicking on the photos twice.
Thanks so much for the fan story and photos! It is always nice to hear how great Mr. Keisel is with fans.
Brett and his son, along with many other teammates joined in Aaron Smith’s Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a part of Team Elijah (Aaron’s son).
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
After a year filled with heartache and fear, with worries and concerns, with uncertainty and anxiety, Aaron Smith finally got to enjoy different emotions this week – happiness and joy. Smith and his wife Jaimie received news almost a year ago that sent their world spiraling. Their son Elijah, who was five at the time, was diagnosed with leukemia. Tears were shed and prayers were said. There were good days when things were hopeful and bad days when the world seemed dark.
But light has returned to the Smith family. Elijah is now a happy and healthy six-year old with a bright smile and boundless energy. And that was on full display when the Smith family, along with a huge gathering of teammates, family and friends took part in the Light the Night walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a part of Team Elijah.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling,” said Smith, a burly defensive end who learned how vulnerable he can be. “To be able to come out as a family and celebrate this with people who are dealing with the same issues and same things it’s unbelievable to me and my family. I can’t say how far we have come in a year. It’s just amazing.”
All members of Team Elijah, which included the entire defensive line as well as more than a dozen more players and their families, sported t-shirts with Elijah’s drawing of a soldier fighting against the bad cancer “It’s good cells vs. bad cells,” explained Elijah. “Bad cells are dying and good cells are winning.”
With the bright lights of the downtown Pittsburgh across the river as their backdrop the walkers lit up the area near Heinz Field as over 4,000 strong walked for their loved ones holding balloons with flashing lights. And right at the front of the line of walkers was a proud Elijah, holding hands with his mom for a while and taking in everything around him on his dad’s shoulders down the home stretch. His sisters Ellaina (7), Elysia (2) and Emilia (1) were also there, proud of their brother and what he has battled.
“If you would have told me a year ago at this time we would be here I would have thought you were crazy,” said Smith. “I basically lived in a tunnel day to day. To tell me we would all be out here celebrating, coming together to fight this I would have never believed it. “Now he is doing unbelievable. He started kindergarten. He is an amazing boy.”
To read the whole article, click here.
I think Hines Ward said it best:
“We are a close knit group. Elijah has 52 uncles on the team. He is one of ours. When one family is affected and having to go through something like this then we are all affected.
To see photos of Brett from the event, click here.
You can visit Steelers.com to view all the pictures from the great event! Once you click the link, then click on “Off the Field” and then on 2009 Light the Night Walk.
September 28, 2009
STEELERS LOSE IN LAST SECONDS OF GAME
Steelers 20, Bengals 23
You read it correctly, the Steelers lost to the Bengals. Cincinnati beat its rival on its home turf after eight consecutive losses since the opening of Paul Brown Stadium at the turn of the century.
The Steelers started out strong, outgaining the Bengals 152 to minus-10 in the first period, but were outgained, 283-221, from that point and, 139-19, in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers drove to the 1-yard line on their first possession and settled for a 19-yard Jeff Reed field goal. The lead reached 10-0 on a 27-yard Ben Roethlisberger pass to Willie Parker, and then 13-0 on a 24-yard field goal from Reed. At that point, the Steelers had held the Bengals to minus 10 yards of total offense, but the Bengals began to rally on their final drive of the half when Shayne Graham kicked a 34-yard field goal.
The Bengals cut the lead to 13-9 early in the third quarter when Johnathan Joseph intercepted Roethlisberger and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. The snap sailed over the holder’s head on the extra-point attempt. The Steelers pushed the lead back to 20-9 when Roethlisberger sneaked 1-yard for a touchdown. But, the Bengals found ways to keep themselves in the game. Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer cinched the win when he connected with Andre Caldwell for a touchdown with seconds remaining in the game.
“It’s frustrating because I felt like all game we were in control. Even when they made the big pick, we were playing tough, then things shifted on us. They made a great drive at the end.”
It was a tough loss, especially since it was to a divisional opponent, but the team now has to prepare to play the Chargers next week. So, as Keisel told a reporter: “We’ve got to take the punches and move on.”
Ben Roethlisberger added: “It’s adversity that we have to face and we’ve faced it before; so we have to see how our character can overcome something like this.”
Keisel stats from Bengals game:
Keisel is credited with 2 tackles and an assist. Although, I thought I saw a couple more tackles he was in on also. Brett also deflected two of Carson Palmer’s passes at the line.
I will get game photos posted soon. I was able to attend the game and had amazing seats on the 50-yard line behind the Steelers bench, so I will post those pictures later…but advance warning-amazing seats do not equal amazing photos…especially when I am the photographer!
Congratulations to Hines Ward. He became the first Steelers receiver to catch 10,000 yards worth of passes.
September 21, 2009
NEWS AND NOTES
Gerry Dulac, Post Gazette, published his “Steelers report card”, grading each position. He gave the Defensive Line a “B”:
The Bears spent most of the first half throwing, rushing only six times for 18 yards — 15 of which came on a carry by Adrian Peterson. They finished with just 43 yards on 18 carries and didn’t have another run longer than 5 yards.
DE Brett Keisel did a good job getting off blocks and stuffing the run.
Click the Post Gazette link above to read what grades other positions received.
Keisel and Roethlisberger talk about Jeff Reed’s missed field goals:
“Jeff is a great kicker,” defensive end Brett Keisel said. “He’s going to win a lot of games for us. He has won a lot of games for us. But even the great ones miss once in awhile.”
“We’re not down on him one bit,” Roethlisberger said. “We lost as a team, and we will move on.”
Reed said it “means a lot” that Roethlisberger, Keisel and the others have his back.
It should be noted that this is the first time Reed has missed two field goals in one game since September 26, 2004, when the Steelers played the Miami Dolphins in Hurricane Jeanne-that game was also Ben Roethlisberger’s first NFL start.
The Steelers travel to Cincinnati next week to take on the Bengals. Both teams are 1-1, so this will be a big game.
Keisel told Ron Cook, Post Gazette:
“It’s going to be a big test for us.They won today, we lost. The division starts now.”
September 20, 2009
FIRST LOSS…AND CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED
Steelers 14, Bears 17
From Scott Brown, Tribune-Review:
The Steelers will no doubt leave the Windy City thinking they let one get away.
Jeff Reed missed a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter and Chicago capitalized, scoring 10 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes to beat the Steelers, 17-14, at soggy Soldier Field. With the score tied 14 -14, Reed badly hooked a 43-yard field goal attempt with just over three minutes left. Jay Cutler, who shook off a four- interception effort in his Bears debut last week, led a drive that ended with Robbie Gould kicking a 44-yard field goal with 15 seconds left.
A chance of a miracle rally ended when Stefan Logan lost a fumble on the kickoff return .
The Steelers made it look easy in the first quarter.
They held the Bears without a first down on two possessions, and after they got the ball for the first time Roethlisberger moved them 92 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown.
The Bears tied the score late in the second quarter when Cutler directed a 13-play, 97-yard drive, one the quarterback capped with a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kellen Davis. The score remained tied until Rashard Mendenhall’s big run set up Roethlisberger’s touchdown with five-and-a-half minutes left in the third quarter. The Steelers looked like they were going to up at least 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
But after a drive stalled at the Chicago 20-yard line, Reed missed a 38-yard field goal. Cutler and the Bears took advantage of the opening that Reed’s errant kick, which was wide left, provided them. Cutler led Chicago on nine-play, 72-yard drive. On third down from the Steelers’ 7 line, Cutler connected with Johnny Knox on a scoring pass that allowed the Bears to tie the score. He then took advantage of another Reed miss by putting Chicago into position to get a game-winning kick from Gould.
Brett had two tackles.
Wow! I had well over 500 entries to win the jersey.
The 31st emailer was Heather from Carmel, Indiana. Congratulations to Heather!
I will be doing another contest soon so check back! Thank you to everyone who entered!
September 19, 2009
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRETT
To celebrate Keisel’s birthday…
If you are my 31st emailer, you will receive an authentic SB XLIII #99 jersey! The size is XXL.
No questions to answer or hoops to jump through…just be the 31st person to email me and you win!
Please only email the address of this site, which is listed above. You can also access the email by clicking on Contact at the top of this page. No entries will be accepted through the MySpace or Facebook pages.
I will announce the winner on Monday.
September 17, 2009
STEELERS START OFF 1-0
Steelers 13, Titans 10
By now we all know the Steelers won their first game of the 2009 season. My site was under maintenance, so I have not been able to update until now.
The Steelers beat the Titans in overtime and start the season 1-0!
Brett had seven tackles-five solo and two assists. He also led the team in QB pressures with four! Way to go #99!
Click here to see pictures from the game.
The team travels to Chicago this Sunday to battle the Bears. The game is at 4:15 p.m.
In a couple days I will be doing a contest to win Keisel and Steelers gear, so be sure to check back!
September 4, 2009
STEELERS DEFEAT PANTHERS
Steelers 21, Panthers 10
The Steelers closed the preseason out with a win over the Panthers last night. They end the preseason 3-1.
The starters played one series (on offense and defense). The first-team defense held the Panthers to a three and out.
The first-team defense finishing the preseason without allowing a touchdown!
I added a couple photos of Keisel from the game. Click here to see them.
The Steelers open up the regular season on September 10 at Heinz Field. They will play the Titans. It will be televised on NBC.
To read about Brett’s new contract, and to see the updated bio information, check out the news from September 3 and August 31.
My hosting company will be doing some routine maintenance, so I may not be able to do any updates from September 7-17th. I will be able to update the MySpace and Facebook pages, along with the photo gallery here on the site. The maintenance may not take as long as predicted, but I wanted to let you know. I apologize for the inconvenience. You will still be able to view the site, but I just cannot perform updates to anything but photos.
To keep up with pictures added while maintenance is going on, click here or click on Photos at the top of this page, and then click on Last Uploads.
September 3, 2009
COACHES AND PLAYERS HAPPY ABOUT KEISEL’S CONTRACT
Head Coach Mike Tomlin said signing Keisel to a new deal was a no-brainer for the team.
Tomlin went on to say:
“He’s ridiculously competitive. He has a mean streak, something that is necessary to play the position that he plays.
“He takes a great deal of pride in his work and he doesn’t care who gets the credit. A lot of times when you play defensive end in our scheme, it’s a lot of dirty work, occupying blocks, playing with great pad level, creating opportunities for others, such as James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, who benefit greatly from the work of our ends.
He embraces all of that and does it with a smile on his face. He embodies the things that we value as a Pittsburgh Steeler.”
It has been reported by the media that many of the Steelers coaches went to the front office to say they wanted to see Keisel signed.
Ed Bouchette, Post Gazette: talked to Keisel’s teammate, Aaron Smith about signing Brett:
With him (Keisel), it’s the smart thing to do. You have a guy who is a solid player who can play for a long time and you don’t have to teach him.
“You look at Keis, he started four years, he still has a young body, he hasn’t taken a ton of snaps and you have a player who knows how to play the game and is a veteran, which is hard. Usually by the time you get to 30, guys have a ton of snaps and he hasn’t. He still has a young body. In that case, they have a good situation with him.”
From Mike Bires article, in the Beaver County Times:
“I’m extremely happy to be able to be here for another five years in this great city playing for this great organization,” Keisel said. “I just wanted a fair deal. To have a chance to play for a team that wins and contends every year is something special.”
I have received MANY emails and messages from friends, family and fans of Mr. Keisel offering their congratulations on his new contract. They have come from all over the world. I figured I’d post one general message here since it would be impossible to list each email and message. Congratulations to Brett (and to his family) and good luck throughout the season!
I have written an updated version of Brett’s highlights with the Steelers. To read: “A glimpse at Brett’s career with the Steelers”: click here.
Then just scroll down past the original bio. You can also click BIO at the top of this page to get there.
Last preseason game…
The Steelers play the Panthers tonight at 8:00 p.m. Coach Tomlin has said the starters may play a couple series. If your cable company does not carry the game, or if it is blacked out in your area, you can watch it live online.
Click here to obtain the live feed. You will need to scroll down on that site to the NFL games (8:00 p.m. section), and then click on the Steelers v. Panthers game. The feed last week was a bit up and down initially, but then it was fine. Some commented that the feed works better if you close out any other opened programs or applications.
August 31, 2009
KEISEL TO WEAR THE BLACK AND GOLD THROUGH 2013
The Steelers made a great move today. Brett Keisel was signed to a new contract that will allow us to see #99 harassing offenses for many more seasons.
As Jim Wexell has been reporting since before training camp, the team has been working to get Keisel signed before the start of the regular season. Brett has said he wants to continue his career in Pittsburgh and now he can do just that.
The Steelers are open to negotiations with their players until the start of the regular season, and this time they took it right up to the deadline. But because they were able to sign Brett Keisel on Monday to a five-year contract that will bind him to the team through the 2013 season, it was worth the effort.
Keisel, who came to the team as a seventh-round draft choice in 2002 (the 242nd overall pick), has been a starting defensive end since 2006, and this contract ensures he will have played all of his best years with the Steelers.
Since joining the starting lineup, Keisel has been a dependable contributor to a defense that by 2008 was the best in the NFL and he wouldn’t want to be playing for any defensive coordinator in the league right now than Dick LeBeau.
“He told me this morning you are stuck with me for another couple of years,” said Keisel. “I told him, ‘A couple, I just signed for five years. It better be at least five years.’ I hope he is here as long as I am here. I really love the guy.”
Keisel posted 5.5 sacks in 2006, which still is his single-season high, but numbers never have been a complete reflection of what he contributes to the unit. Solid against the run and versatile enough against the pass that he has been used both as a rusher and in coverage, Keisel is one of those players whose value can transcend statistics.
To read the whole article, click here.
“I am extremely happy for a lot of reasons- One I have the opportunity to play my entire career with one team. Two, this team, I can’t say enough about how I feel about it. I genuinely love and appreciate the players I play with and have gotten a great relationship with the players too. To be able to stay here and be a part of hopefully more Super Bowls was a dream of mine and it’s surreal that it’s going to happen.”
I will have more news as it becomes available, along with a look back at Brett’s NFL career. So, be sure to check back here!
Congratulations to Brett and his family!
August 30, 2009-see update below regarding Brett’s contract
IT’S A SHUTOUT
Steelers 17, Bills 0
From John Harris, Tribune Review:
The Steelers officially put the rest of the NFL on notice Saturday night.
Sure, it was only a preseason game that will be long forgotten once the regular season begins Sept. 10.
Yeah, and the Steelers weren’t trying to show the Buffalo Bills a thing or two at Heinz Field.
Along with the Tennessee Titans.
And the Chicago Bears.
And the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers’ first three regular-season opponents will catch an eyeful when they study the tape from last night’s first half.
It was 2008 all over again. When the starters from both teams were on the field, the reigning Super Bowl champions dominated the Bills thoroughly and completely.
In the third preseason game — the only one that’s supposed to mean anything because the starters play longer than normal — the Steelers were so efficient it was scary.
The Steelers led, 17-0, at halftime.
Bills quarterback Trent Edwards was limited to 27 passing yards in the first half. Edwards was sacked once, hurried on several other throws and tossed an interception that inside linebacker James Farrior returned 22 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
As for that Steelers run defense that was giving up more than 100 yards through the first two preseason games? Never been better.
Buffalo rushed for 28 yards in the first half. That isn’t very good, until you realize the Bills had only 22 net yards passing in the opening 30 minutes.
The Steelers’ defense opened the game with nose tackle Casey Hampton on the sideline and only two defensive linemen — Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel — on the field. The surprise formation worked. Buffalo passed for a 4-yard gain on first down. A running play gained a yard on second down. On third down, cornerback Deshea Townsend broke up a pass.
That pretty much sums up how the Steelers’ defense played all night.
It was a performance that was more than coach Mike Tomlin could have wished for. His Steelers showed the rest of the league they remain a force to be reckoned with.
Brett talks about Farrior’s great game:
“He’s a beast.He doesn’t slow down. The guy is a constant workaholic. That’s why he’s our captain.”
To see a couple photos of Keisel from the game, click here.
I will add more pictures, as I find them.
To read more about the defense, click here.
Ed Bouchette, of the Post Gazette is reporting that Keisel could be close to signing a five-year contract with the Steelers! He reports that it could be finalized Monday. Of course, nothing is official yet but I will update as news becomes available-stay tuned!
August 25, 2009
STEELER’S LEBEAU NOMINATED FOR HALL OF FAME
From Ed Bouchette, Post Gazette:
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of two seniors nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
LeBeau joins Floyd Little as the two nominees of the senior committee and will join 15 modern day candidates as finalists. The modern-day finalists have yet to be chosen.
LeBeau, 71, has been in the NFL either as a coach or player for 51 years. He still holds the NFL record for playing in 171 consecutive games as a cornerback and is tied for seventh in NFL history with 62 career interceptions. At the time of his retirement with the Detroit Lions, Lebeau was third in career interceptions. He also appeared in three Pro Bowls.
Players thrilled for LeBeau:
Before practice coach Mike Tomlin informed the team about LeBeau being a finalist and after practice the players were happy to talk about their defensive coordinator.
“He is a guy who loves to come to work and loves his job. You see that every day,” said linebacker James Farrior. “He is a guy you can tell cares about each individual player. He wants to know about your well being every day. He comes to work with a smile on his face. You have to love a guy like that.”
Fellow linebacker James Harrison chipped in with “ditto” after hearing Farrior’s comments, but added his own appreciation for LeBeau. “He is more than a coach; he is like a father figure,” said Harrison. “It’s the every day things. He has had a big impact on me. I am extremely happy they finally realized the things he has done, his accomplishments.”
“I think if he gets in I am going to run up and jump in his arms like a little baby,” said Woodson. “I will give him a hug and pick him up off the ground. It’s long overdue. It’s tremendous.”
To read the entire article by Teresa Varley, click here.
LeBeau talks about his players:
“In all seriousness, it’s our defensive players that’ve kept my name, whether it’s wearing my jersey or just playing like the devil, and I could never thank them enough. I’m very blessed. I said that before. This day would never come if it wasn’t for them, so I’m grateful to them.
LeBeau thanked the Steelers organization, Tomlin, Tom Donahoe and Gregg Williams for picking him up in Buffalo, and most of all his players.
“We have an unusual group of guys in Pittsburgh, both sides of the ball,” he said. “They just play. They don’t really look at the situation, they just play. I’m proud of them. There’s no question that they kept my name current with what they’ve done. They’ve gotten all of us, myself included, two championship rings and you can never thank them enough. This is just one more honor, and truthfully if they’re not playing the way they’re playing it doesn’t happen. I’m grateful to them. I’m grateful to the committee and all my friends that’ve helped me through the years. It’s a great day. It really is. It’s humbling, but I’m not going to turn it back in.”
News and Notes:
The Steelers hit the practice field today in preparation for the game vs. Buffalo Saturday.
Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice after his injury last week.
Ed Bouchette, of the Post Gazette, is still reporting (as are other several other media sources), that IF the team does look to extend any players contracts before the season begins, they will work to extend Keisel’s contract. I hope so!
August 23, 2009
STEELERS DEFEATED BY REDSKINS
Steelers 13, Redskins 17
The Steelers were handed their first preseason loss last night.
The starters on both offense and defense played about three series each, as Coach Tomlin predicted they would.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not play at all due to an injury that occurred on the last day of training camp.
The Steelers first team defense came out and shut the Redskins down right out of the box, stopping them on three plays for zero yards. But the Redskins had a little something up their sleeve and out of the punt formation running back Rock Cartwright got the direct snap and went around right end for 15 yards to keep the drive alive.
With new life the Redskins marched down the field, aided by a 10-yard completion to Chris Cooley, a seven-yard carry by Ladell Betts and carries of 11 and eight yards by Clinton Portis to the Steelers three-yard line. The defense tightened the reins there, stopping Betts short of the goal line on his next two carries and forcing the Redskins to settle for a 20-yard Shaun Suisham field goal.
Keisel had one tackle and one assist.
Click here for game photos. I will add more as I find them.
To view training camp photos, see the link in the August 19 news below.
The Steelers will play the Bills on August 29th.
August 21, 2009
STEELERS HEAD TO FEDEX FIELD
The Steelers broke camp today, and then headed to FedEX Field to take on the Washington Redskins.
The game is Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
It will be televised on KDKA/FSN-Pittsburgh. Also, WDVE usually broadcasts the games on the internet.
The Steelers played a softball game last night: Defense V. Offense. Jim Wexell reported that the game ended in a tie 1-1.
New fan photos:
I received some new fan photos from Lexi. She attended two days at camp, and took a few photos of Brett to share.
Click here to see them.
To view all training camp photos, or photos from Keisel’s appearance on the Shaq show, check out the links in the August 19 news.
Go Steelers! Go #99!
August 19, 2009
SHAQ VS. DEBUTS
Shaquille O’Neal and Ben Roethlisberger as “the athletes”.
Charlie Batch as “the coach”, Brett Keisel as “the trainer” and Trai Essex as “security”.
Video from the show:
If you missed Keisel’s appearance, you can watch a video of the show. Click here for the video link.
It begins with Ben and Shaq playing basketball, then moves into the press conference where you will see Brett announced. Keep watching to see Brett’s role as the “trainer”, as he tells Ben to “keep that stomach in”.
Erin, from Big Ben News made some screen captures of Brett’s appearance on the show.
Click here to see the photos.
Thanks so much Erin. It takes a lot of time to make the screen captures, and I really appreciate it!
Click the link above to visit her site for Ben Roethlisberger.
Her site has all the information about Ben’s appearance on the show, along with pictures and video.
WTAE will replay the debut Shaq Vs. show next Tuesday at 8 p.m.
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
There are several pages of photos.
August 18, 2009
TRAINING CAMP PHOTOS
I am adding new photos as I find them. Training camp is winding down. The players break camp on Friday, and will head to Washington for their second preseason game.
The game will be televised on KDKA/FSN-Pittsburgh. Also, WDVE usually broadcasts the games on the internet.
Brett returned to practice Saturday, and was reported to be playing fine. Tomlin had said they held him out of the Cardinals game just for precaution, as the injury was not serious. He is expected to play this weekend against the Redskins.
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
There are several pages of photos.
To see which photos are the “most viewed” click the link under Keisel Kam.
I will admit, the current Keisel Kam pic is my favorite so far!
Shaq Vs. :
The Shaq Vs. reality show debuted tonight. The series will feature Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal stepping out of his comfort zone of basketball and challenging other high-profile athletes in competitions in their sports.
The first show featured Shaq in a visit to Ben Roethlisberger’s home and then on to a challenge against him on the football field. This particular competition worked off a 7-on-7 football premise: a skeleton passing formation with receivers and backs with Ben quarterbacking one team, and Shaq quarterbacking the other.
Keisel appeared on the show also, so I hope everyone caught it. I did not know he was going to be on until I saw the show, so I apologize for not posting sooner.
Tomorrow, I will try to post some screen caps from his appearance, so check back.
August 14, 2009
STEELERS DEFEAT CARDINALS
Steelers 20, Cardinals 10
The Pittsburgh Steelers won their first preseason game.
They faced off against their opponents from Super Bowl XLIII – the Arizona Cardinals.
In the first half, Jeff Reed was the first to get points on the board for the Steelers with a 50-yard field goal. A 29-yard field goal from Arizona’s Neil Rackers tied the score at the end of the second quarter.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Steelers picked up steam in the fourth quarter when Isaac Redman had a three-yard touchdown.
Redman scored again with a 5-yard touchdown run. Arizona responded with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Palko to Onrea Jones. Piotr Czech had a 44-yard field goal for the Steelers with less than two minutes on the clock.
Keisel was held out of the game for precautionary reasons. Coach Tomlin stated that Brett was injured during practice on Wednesday (calf injury), but added that the injury was not serious.
The Steelers next preseason game is against Washington on August 22nd.
August 12, 2009
BRING ON THE CARDINALS
Time for game one of the preseason!
The Steelers take on the Cardinals Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. The game will be aired on ESPN.
Coach Tomlin said the starters will probably play a couple series during the game.
What does Coach LeBeau want to see from his defense tomorrow night?
“I want to see our guys grow. I don’t care if we’re young, old or intermediate, I want to see us get better. That’s what I want to see every day when we come out on the practice field. You can grow a little bit quicker in the actual game situations than you can in practice, but you have to grow in both situations to get ready for the championship season.”
The Black Eyed Peas and Tim McGraw will jump-start the Steelers’ season with a free concert at Point State Park on opening night. For more information on the entertainment, click here.
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
There are several pages of photos.
Go Steelers! Go #99!
August 10, 2009
TOMLIN PRAISES KEISEL’S “STANDOUT INDIVIDUAL EFFORT”
From Bob Labriola’s article, on Steelers.com:
Tomlin had a chance to see the video from Sunday’s goal-line drill, and he offered some insight into what happened and why.
“I thought I saw some standout individual efforts, and quite frankly that was the difference in a lot of those plays,” said Tomlin. “On the first snap, Aaron Smith had great pad level and created penetration and really took the guy who was blocking him plus a backfield guy plus a puller. One guy got three. When you stack people up like that you’re going to have a party in the backfield, and that’s what happened.
“On the second play, I thought there was unbelievable overlap and effort from Brett Keisel, who made the play and he was the backside defensive end. Those kinds of things jump out at you when you’re looking at goal-line, some great individual efforts from a couple of people that are the difference in those kinds of plays. When you’re fighting over a yard, usually that is the case.”
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
There are several pages of photos.
August 9, 2009
DEFENSE WINS GOAL-LINE
From Bob Labriola’s article, on Steelers.com:
At the end of his media briefing following the Saturday afternoon practice, Coach Mike Tomlin suggested that the first installment of goal-line would be held on Sunday. Then with a smile, he added, “I want to make them do it in front of their families and girlfriends.”
There is no more competitive drill in Steelers training camp than goal-line, and Tomlin’s decision to wait until Family Night for the first installment ensured it would be staged at the proper emotional level. The rules were for the ball to be placed at the 1-yard line, with the offense scoring a point for a touchdown and the defense getting a point for a stop. The defense won the best of seven, 4-3, but the offense scored three times after falling behind, 4-0, to make it close.
“The emphasis of the practice was focused on short yardage and goal line,” said Tomlin. “I like some things I saw from both sides of the football, offensively and defensively. We’ll get another opportunity to do that here before too long. We’re just going to continue the process the building of our football team.”
On the first play, the offense deployed three tight ends and running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Carey Davis. The defense went with three defensive linemen – but neither Aaron Smith nor Casey Hampton – five linebackers and three defensive backs. With Chris Kemoeatu pulling from left guard and leading Mendenhall over the right side, Keyaron Fox filled the hole and delivered the hit to keep Mendenhall out of the end zone.
Same personnel groupings on the second play, and this time it was Brett Keisel who made the big hit to stop Mendenhall.
On the third play, rookie Frank Summers got the ball, but it was the same result, this time with Tyrone Carter and Fox combining on the stop. That gave the defense a 3-0 lead, and the unit cemented the win by smothering Summers on an attempted run right up the middle.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
…from Misty and Renee. They headed to training camp Saturday and sent me some photos of Keisel to share. Click here to view them.
Thanks so much to Misty and Renee!
Fan photos of Mr. Keisel are always welcome and appreciated. But, please only if they are in a public setting where he is willing to be photographed. I will not post any pictures where it is obvious his privacy (and that of his family and friends) was intruded upon. I appreciate your understanding. Fan photos can be emailed to me-the email address is under the CONTACT heading at the top of this page.
August 6, 2009
CHATTING WITH KEISEL THE DIESEL
Brett sat down to do an interview with the guys from WDVE at training camp.
He talked about his Superbowl ring, his fumble recovery during the Superbowl (and who has possession of the fumbled ball) and he also gives a shout out to Diesel Nation.
It is a very entertaining interview so be sure to check it out.
To listen to his interview, click here.
Then scroll down to Brett’s interview.
Star of the two-minute drill:
From sports reporter Dale Lolley…
…Brett Keisel was the star of the first two-minute drill.
After the offense moved the ball down inside the red zone, Keisel dropped into good coverage on a short zone to screen Limas Sweed and force an incompletion on third down. He then came up the middle like a freight train on fourth down, batting down a Batch pass to end the possession.
That kind of athleticism can’t be overlooked.
Dale Lolley was one of three reporters to talk about Keisel’s great play.
Ed Bouchette, of the Post-Gazette talked to Keisel about how their defense can get better.
From the article:
Defensive end Brett Keisel does not believe it is too much to ask the defense to put more pressure on the quarterback than it did a year ago.
“That’s our M.O. We feel if we can shut down teams from running, that, even if we’re in four-man rush, we should be able to create pressure. We have the athletes to do that.”
To read the whole article, click here.
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
August 5, 2009
HAPPY TO BE HERE
Mike Bires, of Timesonline.com recently spoke to Keisel about his contract.
From the article:
Each year, team management must decide what to do with its list of potential free agents. Some are re-signed; others aren’t for a variety of reasons.
“The Rooneys obviously know what they’re doing,” said defensive end Brett Keisel, in the last year of his contract. “They take their time in deciding who they want to keep and who they want to let go. It’s kind of out of your hands. You just have to perform and perform well.”
Already this year, the Steelers have re-signed five starters who were in the last years of their contracts. But as of right now, there are seven high-profile Steelers who have yet to be re-upped.
“If they want me to be around, I’ll be around,” said Keisel, who turns 31 next month. “I’ve had great times here, and I hope to continue that. I’m just looking to go into this year and have my best year yet and let the chips fall where they will.
“If you let it be a distraction, it can be. But I’m still under contract. I’m just happy to be here and to be healthy and to be part of this great defense we have.”
To read the entire article, click here.
I am adding new photos as they become available. To view them, click here.
August 3, 2009
BRETT TALKS ABOUT THE ROONEY FAMILY
From Alan Robinson, AP:
There hasn’t been a Steelers training camp like this since the year Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis, Gone with the Wind was published and Jesse Owens won four Olympic gold medals in Adolf Hitler-controlled Germany.
There’s no Dan Rooney around.
The Steelers players reside in Rooney Hall during their three weeks at Saint Vincent College, an hour’s drive east of Pittsburgh. A Rooney remains in charge of the Steelers, the only six-time Super Bowl winner.
Only it’s not Dan Rooney, who is now the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, a full-time position that allows him little time for football and none for training camp. Time enough, however, to place a weekend phone call to find out how his football team is doing.
“Burt (Lauten, a team publicist) told me he called and asked how things are going,” defensive end Brett Keisel said Monday. “It’s different not having him here. We’re missing him.”
To read the entire article, click here.
From Matt Pawlikowski, Pittsburgh Sports Examiner:
He (Dan Rooney) won’t be floating through the dorms or the lockeroom when the Steelers put the uniforms back on. He won’t be roaming the sidelines talking with media or eating lunch in the cafeteria.
Unlike the Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones of this world, Rooney was a true Pittsburgher, a down to earth, just one of the guys type of person. He was the team owner, but never got involved in trying to make changes.
It was a reason he was so revered.
Yet while Dan will be missed for the man he is, perhaps Brett Keisel’s words about the Rooney family show where his teammates stand with the fact that his son Art II is now the man in charge.
“The biggest thing is how involved they are with the city of Pittsburgh . It seems to me that they are so involved with the community and their players’ well being,” Defensive lineman Keisel said. ” You just don’t see them when you get on the plane on Sunday. You see them every day. They come and shake your hand and tell you they are proud of you. As a player, that means a lot.”
To see photos of Keisel at camp, click here.
August 2, 2009
PLAYERS GETTING PHYSICAL
From Bob Labriola, of Steelers.com:
Coach Mike Tomlin said he liked the ebb-and-flow of Sunday’s lone practice session at Saint Vincent College. He just as easily could have used the phrase punch-and-counterpunch.
If it indeed is true that a team can set a tone for its season from the start of a training camp, then the Steelers seem to be headed for another year in which they play a physical brand of football.
“You cannot take the physical element out of football,” said Tomlin. “That’s what you miss during the spring and in minicamp, and that’s why you reserve judgments about the development of some people. We’re starting to see what football is about and who potentially comprise the 53 who will become the 2009 Steelers. I like it.”
Sunday’s practice was dampened literally by a passing rain shower that lasted for a little less than 30 minutes, and if it chased a number of the fans lining the hills surrounding the fields it didn’t interrupt the pace or the focus of the work.
“I thought they maintained focus through the rain, which is great,” said Tomlin. “A little ebb and flow, a very physical practice, which is what we desire.”
Jim Wexell mentioned that the first team defense had a good showing this afternoon, saying “1st team defense howled at 3rd team offense like it was old-fashioned goal line drill.”
Most reports were that the players were very physical today, which pleased Coach Tomlin.
There is a tradition with the Steelers that rookies have to get up and sing in the cafeteria during dinner and it kicked off with a bang on Saturday when rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace got things started. Head coach Mike Tomlin encouraged Wallace to go old school, so he belted out R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Wallace had his teammates singing along and got a big hand when he finished. There is a lot for the other rookies to live up to now.
The start of practice just wouldn’t be the same without Chris Hoke doing his Hokie Pokey, and he gave in to the cheers of his teammates before the team began stretching during the afternoon practice.
To see photos of Brett at training camp, click here.
I will continue to add more as I find them.
July 31, 2009
FIRST DAY OF TRAINING CAMP
The players reported to training camp today. They had their annual run test.
To see photos of Keisel during the run test, click here.
Coach Tomlin stated that all players completed the run test.
I will post more news and photos each day, so be sure to check back often.
It was reported today that the Steelers are in talks with Brett regarding his contract. He is entering the final year of his current contract.
July 26, 2009
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON
Training camp 2009 begins in FIVE days!
The players report to camp on July 31 and practices start on August 1.
For the complete schedule, and more information on training camp, click here.
To see photos from previous training camps, click here.There are four pages of photos. I will add photos from camp this year daily.
…I saved an article from after Superbowl XLIII to post now, so we can relive the Superbowl victory again before the new season begins.
Click here to read the article.
If you attend training camp, and take any photos of Brett that you’d like to share, please send them to me to post.
July 16, 2009
AND THE ESPY GOES TO…
The Pittsburgh Steelers for “Best Game” (Superbowl XLIII)… and to Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes for “Best Play” (for the game-winning touchdown reception between Ben and Santonio Holmes in Superbowl XLIII)!
Congratulations to the team, and thanks to Steeler Nation for their votes.
To see some photos from the ESPY’s (which will air on Sunday, July 19th at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN), click here.
July 10, 2009
BRETT KEISEL REFLECTS ON ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP
From Lee Lockhart’s article entitled, From Buff to the Bowl, in the Northern Wyoming Daily News:
“Starting at defensive end – Brett Keisel,” the loudspeaker barks to the sellout crowd at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
He ended last season’s NFL Super Bowl with a fumble recovery, preserving the victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23. It was a self-admitted great way to end his seventh year in the league. Outside the great finish, it was a tough year for Keisel who missed six games due to injury.
“I had to work like a madman to get back on the field,” Keisel said during an interview after a round of golf in Worland Wednesday afternoon.
Keisel returns to Greybull and the Big Horn Basin every year. He comes back for self-described “therapy.”
He comes back in order to “clear my mind and slow down. There’s something about coming back to Wyoming that is refreshing and it lets you clear your mind.”
At 30, (he’ll be 31 in September) Keisel is well aware that the average length of stay in the National Football League is three years. He has bettered the odds. He’ll start his eighth season July 31 with a new, old, familiar, training camp.
“I feel really fortunate. It’s all been with the same team, and that’s practically unheard of. And to top that all off, I have two Super Bowl rings. I feel really lucky and very blessed. It only makes me hungry for more,” he said.
One of Keisel’s next goals:
With two Super Bowl rings, Keisel still has at least one unrealized goal.
“I’ve never been selected to the Pro Bowl, and that’s a big goal of mine,” he admits. And then he noted that it is tough for a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme to get selected because “a lot of the time your job is to gobble up blockers. But it has been done, and it is something I work towards.”
To read the entire interview, click here.
To see a photo of Brett signing a jersey for a fan at the golf course, click here.
Thanks to Wade Werbelow for sending me the information from the Northern Wyoming Daily News.
As fans, we can help Keisel fulfill his goal of being selected to the Pro Bowl. Fans count for one-third of the votes, and if the voing rules remain the same this season, there is NO limit on how many times fans can vote. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
I appreciate all of you who voted last season for Brett, and then for teammate Aaron Smith when I received a request through Brett’s family to switch our votes due to Keisel’s injury- (see November 26, 2008 news in Archives).
I will post Pro Bowl voting information on this site when it becomes available.
June 26, 2009
ESPY NOMINATIONS UPDATE
I left out a fifth nomination for the Steelers.
They are nominated under “Best Play” for Santonio Holmes game-winning touchdown reception from Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLIII
So, be sure to add that category to your voting. The voting information is in the June 25th news.
Click here to cast your vote.
We need to let Steelers Nation be heard..so please VOTE!!!
June 25, 2009
ESPY NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
The ESPY nominations are out, and the Steelers are nominated for Best Team and Best Game! Also, Mike Tomlin is nominated for Best Coach, and James Harrison for Best NFL Player.
The awards show will air July 19 at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN.
Your vote counts!
Voting begins today, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on July 11. Click here to cast your vote.
Congratulations to Coach Dick LeBeau on his upcoming induction into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. The class will be inducted Sept. 25 and introduced to the public at halftime of the home football game (at The Ohio State University) against Illinois the next day.
And, the honors continue for Coach LeBeau as he will also be honored in London, Ohio this Saturday. He will have a field house at his high school named after him. It will be part of a ceremony honoring LeBeau for his 50 years in the NFL as a player and a coach.
June 15, 2009
NEWS AND NOTES
Training Camp ’09:
The Steelers report to training camp on July 31st. Practices will begin on August 1st. It will be held at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. For the complete schedule, and more information on training camp, click here.
Steelers individual game tickets:
A limited number of individual game tickets for the Steelers 2009 home games are available through Ticketmaster beginning on Saturday, June 20, at 10:00 a.m. This marks the third consecutive season fans will be able to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.
For more information on purchasing the tickets, click here.
…To the Penguins on winning the Stanley Cup Championship…and to Ben Roethlisberger on his victory at the US Open Challenge!
To read about Ben’s US Open Challenge event, and to see photos, click here.
The city of Pittsburgh (and fans from all over the world) have certainly had reason to celebrate this year!
June 9, 2009
I am home from vacation so I am now able to update the various events Keisel participated in recently.
Habitat for Humanity:
Keisel and several teammates worked with Habitat for Humanity on June 8th to help build a house for Debbie Miller and her family.
Miller is the recipient of the “Champions House,” presented by Habitat for Humanity to a qualified family in the Super Bowl winning city. Miller and her grandsons will soon move into a home in the Westwood section of Pittsburgh, a home that is being built from the ground up by volunteers.
Miller was taken by surprise on Monday when she was working on the house and 14 members of the Super Bowl Champion Steelers showed up to get things rolling. The players, along with assistant head coach John Mitchell, put up the exterior walls of the house and began work on interior walls, as well as handling some painting duties.
Keisel is no stranger to the home building experience, helping out his family when he was just 12-years old building their first home in Wyoming. He looked at home on the construction site and left with the satisfaction of knowing how much it meant to Miller and the kids.
“They are going to enjoy it,” said Keisel. “The kids will be able to grow up in there and that is what makes it special.”
To read Teresa Varley’s entire article on Steelers.com, click here.
To watch a video with Keisel and teammates, click here.
And, to see photos from the event, click here.
What a great thing for Keisel and his teammates to do for the Miller family!
Hines Ward Celebrity Softball Game:
The game was held on June 6 (see information about the game in May 29th news).
To view photos of Keisel during the game, click here.
Steelers Superbowl XLIII Ring:
The team received their Superbowl rings today. For pictures of the rings, and information on them, click here.
The last round of OTA’s are this week. The team will then have a break until they report to training camp on July 31st.
I will post information on training camp, and on purchasing individual game tickets soon.
May 29, 2009-afternoon update listed below
ONE YEAR AND STILL GOING STRONG
It has been a little over a year since I began this website, and the number of visitors to the site just keeps growing!
I credit this to the great work Keisel does on and off the field, to his huge following of fans, and to his family’s wonderful support of this site.
Brett certainly has a built up a fan base worldwide. According to the statistics from my hosting company, the United States leads in the number of visitors to the site, followed by Sweden, Canada, France, China, Spain, and Italy. Costa Rica and the Netherlands have recently been showing large numbers of visitors.
The first month I started the site, I had almost 200 visitors. As of May of 2009, which is a little over a year since the site began, I show over 126,000 visitors!
This number does not count the web robots or crawlers that automatically generate hits on a site.
Also, the MySpace page has over 1,000 friends so far.
So, I wanted to say Thank you, Tack, Merci beaucoup, Muchas gracias, etc. to everyone for visiting this site!
…Hines Ward will hold his second annual celebrity softball game on June 6. It will be held at 1 p.m. at Duquesne Field. The event is free, but donations will be taken to benefit the families of the fallen Pittsburgh police officers. At least 11 Steelers will participate with local media celebrities.
I did locate a list of Steelers who are scheduled to play in the softball game. Brett is listed as playing, as are Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison, James Farrior, Jeff Reed, Santonio Holmes, Max Starks, Willie Parker, Deshea Townsend, Ike Taylor and Hines Ward.
1250 ESPN is offering a lucky fan the chance to “Coach the Champs.” You can bid to serve as an honorary coach at the softball game.
For information on the contest, click here.
For more information on the softball game, click here.
The event information will also be listed on the right side of this page under, Events and Appearances.
To see photos from the game last year, click here.
…The next round of OTA’s will be June 9-11.
I added one more picture to the White House visit gallery. Click here to see it.
I will be out of town for a bit, so I will update any event photos or news when I return. I will be able to update the MySpace page (the link is at the top of this page), so you can check there for photos while I am gone.
May 21, 2009-afternoon update
PRESIDENT OBAMA CONGRATULATES THE STEELERS
The Steelers organization headed to Washington D.C. today to meet with President Obama and to make care packages for our troops.
Obama started off by saying:
“Congratulations to the Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, and to the fans of Steelers Nation who wave that Terrible Towel every Sunday!”
Obama went on to say:
“This is a new team for a new era and that’s embodied by Coach Tomlin.”
He also referred to Dick LeBeau as “one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time.”
The President discussed how the Steelers do great work on and off the field, and while they were at the White House they would be teaming up with the USO for Operation Care Package. They would be packing up 3,000 care packages for our troops.
Ever the competitors, the Steelers were divided into three teams-defense, offense and special teams. They would race to see which team could pack the most packages.
The footage stopped before I saw who won, but my bet is on the #1 defense!
Coach LeBeau was interviewed and said he was having a great afternoon (at the White House) and it was a great honor. He went on to say how proud he was of his defense everyday.
The President also welcomed about 50 wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center for the ceremony. In addition to the wounded warriors and the Steelers, President Obama is meeting with Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper and four officers who were the first to respond to the April shooting in Stanton Heights that claimed the lives of three city police officers.
To see a video of the visit, click here.
To see pictures from the visit, click here.
I will add more if I find any.
May 21, 2009
KEISEL ENJOYS HIS WORK, NO MATTER THE SITUATION
From John Harris, of the Tribune-Review:
All around the NFL, players entering the final year of their contracts are boycotting minicamps and voluntary workouts because they want new deals.
The same is not true in Pittsburgh, where several Steelers entering their final contract years report to work without protest.
“That’s how it is around here,” said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, who is entering the final year of his contract. “Everyone understands what’s going on, but it’s just something we don’t talk about. The guys we have on this team really makes it enjoyable to come to work.”
Keisel was asked if he would prefer to re-sign before the start of the season.
“It’s something that’s kind of out of your hands,” he said. “You just have to go to work. I’m looking for the opportunity to hopefully repeat. I feel excited about our opportunity, and hopefully, we can seize it. That’s my focus. I’m not really concerned about the contract.
“I just want this year to be my best yet. I feel like every year I want to improve. Once I can’t do that, it’s time for me to hang up the cleats.”
Keisel, entering his fourth season as a starter, finished with 34 tackles and one sack despite missing six games because of injuries.
Brett talks about the upcoming visit to the White House:
“I’m excited. “It’s kind of history in the making. The first black president, and we get to be the first (NFL) team to meet him. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity.”
“I’d like to see more (this time). We saw a couple of rooms that I think basically everyone gets to see. I’m going to try to go through the trap doors and see if I can get lost in there.”
Lets hope the Secret Service don’t learn of Keisel’s plans!
To read the entire article, click here.
…Be sure to read the news below (May 20) for information on watching live coverage of the Steelers trip to Washington! There are also some new basketball pics posted with yesterdays news!
May 20, 2009
NEW BASKETBALL PHOTOS
Brett and the Steelers basketball team played at Logan Middle School, in the East Allegheny School District, last week.
Clink Helmick attended the game, and sent several photos of Keisel to share.
Click here to see the photos.
Thanks to Clint for sending them!
The Steelers are scheduled to visit the White House tomorrow.
WPXI will have live coverage of the visit on their website and (for local Pittsburgh fans) on Channel 11 news.
Check out the May 13th news for information on a great way to support breast cancer research, and to get a chance to win some nice prizes!
May 19, 2009
RETURN OF OTA’S AND BRETT PLAYS IN GOLF TOURNEY
The Steelers began another round of OTA’s today. I will post any pics I find from the OTA’s in the Photo Gallery.
From Teresa Varley’s article, LeBeau Dreams up a New Defensive Package on Steelers.com:
To say that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau eats, sleeps and breaths football is not an understatement. The mastermind behind the Steelers defense that was once again ranked number one in the NFL last season laid out a new defensive package for the team at OTA’s on Tuesday and it came to him the night before.
“He gave us a new defense today that he thought about last night when he was in bed,” said an amazed James Farrior. “He drew something up for us today. We expect stuff like that from Coach LeBeau.
“He is constantly thinking of ways we can do better,” said defensive end Brett Keisel. “We put in a whole new package today that the wizard came up with last night. He was making some potion and somehow these X’s and O’s came up and it worked really well today so I am sure it’s something we will use.”
To read the entire article, which includes some more of Keisel’s thoughts on LeBeau, clickhere.
Hoge Starks Ward Celebrity Golf Tournament for Children:
Keisel participated in the golf event May 18th.
Since 1994, the Hoge Starks Ward Celebrity Golf Classic for Children has raised more than $1,825,000 for children in need. Former Steelers player Merril Hoge, along with current Steelers Max Starks and Hines Ward, invite Steelers coaches and players, and other celebrities, to golf with foursomes from the area and from across the country to raise awareness and funds for programs of the Highmark Caring Foundation.
To see a video from the event, click here.
To see a screen capture of Keisel at the event, click here.
I will add more photos from the golf tourney if they are available, so check back.
May 15, 2009
STEELERS HEADING TO THE WHITE HOUSE
From Ed Bouchette, of the Post Gazette:
The Steelers will visit the White House Thursday at the request of President Barack Obama.
The traditional visit by the Super Bowl champions will take place at some point in the afternoon. The Steelers last visited the White House as Super Bowl champions in 2006, when George W. Bush was president.
To see a larger version of the picture to the left, and a couple more from the 2006 visit, click here.
I will post any pictures I find of the visit as they become available.
Erin, at Big Ben News has an exclusive offer to visitors of her site!
Artist Robert Cherewick has released a special Artist’s Reserve Edition of his popular sold-out print, “The Rookie” to fans of Erin’s site. This amazing print features Ben Roethlisberger in his rookie year, and is autographed by Ben. The likeness is incredible!
Don’t wait! There are a limited amount of prints available, and if you mention Erin’s site, you will receive a GREAT deal on the price!
Click here to view the print, and check out the amazing offer! It is posted in the May 14th news.
May 13, 2009
NEWS AND PHOTOS
I added a few new photos to the Gallery. They are from another Steelers basketball game. Click here to see them.
…Congratulations to Steelers assistant head coach/defensive line coach John Mitchell. Coach Mitchell will be inducted into the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2009 on May 30.
…Most of you know I also run a fan site on Heath Miller. I normally keep the News items separate for each site, but I wanted to make you aware of a great fundraiser Heath is involved with currently.
Heath hosts an event called, “Bid for Hope” for A Glimmer of Hope Foundation. The event raises money for breast cancer research. Brett attends the event also.
Glimmer of Hope is now pleased to announce the launching of Candy for the Cure. Candy for the Cure is a program developed by Glimmer of Hope to help raise funds for the nations largest under 40 breast cancer study in the country. Every dollar raised goes to support breast cancer research and the fight for a cure.
The fundraiser offers some amazing prizes to win, and you will be supporting a wonderful cause!
Click here to read more about Candy for the Cure!
May 8, 2009
KEISEL SHOOTS HOOPS FOR GOOD CAUSE
Brett joined some teammates to play basketball at Norwin High School on April 18th. Money raised from the game went to support Norwin PTA programs.
I posted a news story about the game in the April 19 news below, but I have now added photos from the game.
To see the photos, click here.
Remember, you can enlarge any of the photos by clicking on them!
…I added a few more dates to the schedule, which is located on the right side of this page. Thanks again to Clint for sending more dates to me. It sounds like the basketball team will wrap the season up May 15th.
…No news on any talks or offers, but DL Coach John Mitchell explained to John Harris, from the Tribune-Review, why the Steelers likely will re-sign Keisel despite the franchise’s philosophy of not always retaining its older players.
Keisel and Smith missed games last season because of injuries, but Mitchell said they weren’t typical injuries.
“Brett and Aaron didn’t have an injury because their athletic ability had diminished. Both of those guys were running to the ball when they got nicked up by one of their own players,” Mitchell said. “I think they can be around for the next three, four or five years. Brett takes good care of himself, and so does Aaron.”
Mitchell went on to say this about his line:
“It makes my job very easy when you have guys like that here year in and year out. It’s easy to coach them. They play well because they have been in this scheme a long time. If you look at some of the numbers from this past year, I think we played very well defensively.”
Brett recently spoke with Ed Bouchette, from the Post-Gazette, about his desire to stay with the Steelers.
“I’m just speaking from my knowledge of being around here and that this is a great place to be,” said defensive end Brett Keisel. “You have great owners who care about you, a great family atmosphere here in the locker room, so it’s a great place for a player like myself who was drafted here.”
To read the rest of either article, click on their respective links.
May 5, 2009
EVERYONE WANTS TO BEAT THE CHAMPS
James Walker from ESPN.com spoke with Keisel during mini camp.
He asked Brett about the upcoming season, and how he felt about the team having a “target” on their backs due to their Superbowl win.
“I think this team has enough veterans on it, where we know how to prepare, we know how to come into camp and we know it’s starting fresh,” Keisel said. “When you win a Super Bowl, you know you’re going to get everyone’s best shot. Everyone wants to beat the champs, and we understand that.”
Keisel went on to say that the team is staying focused on their goals: “It’s our main goal,” Keisel said of winning another Super Bowl. “It’s what we want, and it’s what we’re striving for. It’s the focus starting now.
“[Tomlin] put that in front of all of us at our team meeting and making it evident. We understand we’re not going to win the Super Bowl this week. But at the same time, he wants us out every day when we’re making our decisions thinking, ‘Is this going to help us win a championship?'”
Walker also inquired on Keisel’s contract status. He was told by Brett that there have been no contract discussions with the team to date. Brett is entering the final year of his contract.
May 3, 2009
MINI CAMP 2009
Keisel as quarterback?
Probably not…the players seemed to have traded jerseys for a bit!
The Steelers held a mini camp this weekend. Coach Tomlin said it was a productive weekend, and he was happy to come away with no major injuries.
From Bob Labriola, Steelers.com:
There was an unmistakable energy in the air, even though it had been less than three months since they returned from Tampa with the franchise’s sixth Lombardi Trophy. The Pittsburgh Steelers were back at work as a whole team for the first time since that win over the Arizona Cardinals, but Coach Mike Tomlin made sure to keep it in perspective.
“You know I’m not a big proponent of football in shorts,” said Tomlin about minicamp. “The rookie minicamp, for me, is about teaching. It’s about getting to know these guys to see how they take in information, to see how they deal with the ups and downs of good plays and bad plays from an assignment standpoint. But football will be played in Latrobe.”
“I thought it was a very productive day for us,” said Tomlin. “These are instructional camps for us. This is a time for teaching, for giving and receiving information. Everybody was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and it was a productive day from that standpoint. We also were injury-free, which is another thing we desire to get done with these camps. I really like the energy and enthusiasm of the group today.
“It was a good start to our minicamp, but I don’t gauge the success of these weekends, because it’s not football, it’s teaching.”
…can be viewed here.
To view all the photos from mini camp, including some good pictures of the players on “hat” day, click here.
April 30, 2009
COACH MITCHELL TALKS ABOUT KEISEL
Jim Wexell talked with Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell regarding the Steelers draft and the current defensive line players.
Coach Mitchell on Keisel’s contract status:
“Players play, coaches coach, and administrators administrate. My job is to coach, so I don’t get involved in that.
But Keisel’s a good football player. I think he’s proven he can play here. Those types of guys are hard to replace.
Here’s something you have to look at also: When we got Aaron Smith, it was two years before he played. With Brett Keisel, it was four years before he got on the field, although he was a very good special teams player. Chris Hoke was here three years before he got on the field. My point is that Ziggy’s a good football player, but he’s not going to come here tomorrow and set the world on fire. I’m excited about it. We’re happy with him. But we’re going to have to bring him along and he’s going to have that learning curve.
So a guy like Brett Keisel, I think Brett Keisel has five or six years of good football in him.”
Mitchell addresses the topic of age in his line, and recent injuries:
“People say I’ve got a bunch of old guys. Aaron Smith is 33. You can’t get around that. But he’s 33 chronologically. Physically, he’s not 33. You look at Brett Keisel; he’s 31 (Brett will be 31 in September).
But go back and look at the tape of these guys. When they got injured, they were doing the things that we asked them to do: They were running to the football. When you get good defensive linemen that run to the football, they’re going to have nicks.
They did not get injured, either one of them, because of diminishing abilities or skills. They got injured running to the football, which we require them to do.
Now, if I had a guy who was 57 years old, or someone my age, I would worry. A 33-year-old guy and a 31-year-old guy and a 31-year-old guy, Casey Hampton, who don’t have a lot of wear on their body? I’m not going to worry. Do they have chronological age on them? Yes. But these guys have a lot of football left in them.”
Mitchell on what it takes to be a defensive lineman for the Steelers:
“Any defensive lineman that we draft is not going to get the press and we’re not going to ask him to get 20 sacks.
We’re going to ask him to keep those linebackers free, make sure that it takes five offensive linemen to block our three, and so they’re not going to get the pub.
We’ve got to have a special guy, and those guys are not out there very often because most of the defensive linemen in this league, especially ends, they think about sacks and they equate that to money in their contract down the road.
That’s not what you’re going to do with the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Coach LeBeau also talked about Brett at the Dapper Dan Banquet:
“I remember there were two guys I always saw working hard in the room-Brett and James Harrison, they were in there everyday.”
In an interview from last year, Brett commented that he “had another good seven years left in him” to play.
I do not have any news or updates on Keisel’s contract, but I am hoping the Steelers work it out to keep him! He deserves to finish out his career with the team he has worked so hard for all these years!
I added a few more dates (thanks again to Clint) to the list of Steelers basketball games. They are on the right side of this page under, Steelers Basketball.
Side note from Trish:
Congratulations to OSU alumni, Chris Spielman on his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame!
April 28, 2009
NEWS AND NOTES
I received an email from Clint Helmick with some more dates for Steelers basketball. They are listed on the right side of this page (in the gray area) under Steelers Basketball.
Please remember that I have no idea if Brett is playing in any of those games.
Thanks to Clint for sending the dates for me to post.
The Steelers will hold a required mini camp beginning May 1 and ending May 3.
I will post mini camp photos of Keisel as I find them, so be sure to check back.
The Steelers/Bengals game in Cincinnati on September 27, has moved from 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
April 26, 2009
KEISEL LENDS A HAND FOR TEAMMATE
Brett joined his teammate Ben Roethlisberger to play basketball to support the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. This is the second year Brett has played in the game, and it was nice to see many more #99 jerseys in the crowd this year!
From The Courier.com:
Just as Ben Roethlisberger leads the Pittsburgh Steelers week after week in the National Football League, Roethlisberger was the key cog in his team’s 106-96 victory over area all-stars as part of the Ben & Friends Benefit on Saturday at Findlay High School.
The former Findlay High basketball and football star led all scorers with 51 points. A teammate of Roethlisberger’s on the football field did his share of damage on the hardwood, as Steeler teammate Brett Keisel scored 29 points.
The high scorer for the area all-star team was Liberty-Benton’s Derek Recker with 31 points. He netted seven three-pointers, including some from NBA range in the exhibition contest. Also chipping in were Findlay’s Jared Harris with 13 points, McComb’s Kevan Westengarger with 12 points, Arlington’s Damin Oman with 11 points and Findlay’s Matt Strzempka with 10 points.
Proceeds from the event benefit Findlay High student athletes and the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.
Ben’s sister, Carlee also joined team Roethlisberger this year. At halftime, Carlee’s high school jersey was retired.
Brett brought the crowd to their feet with an amazing slam dunk. The picture above shows him receiving congrats from his teammates and the fans.
Keisel signed autographs between quarters and after the game. At one point, during a break from the game, Brett was surrounded by kids requesting his autograph. Of course, he made sure they all got their items signed.
To see a short video of the game, click here.
To see photos from the game, click here.
And, to see more photos of the game, click here.
I am not sure how much money was raised for Ben’s Foundation last night, but it was reported that he raised nearly $70,000 in the first two years he did this benefit!
April 23, 2009
UPDATING THE PHOTO GALLERY
As many of you know, I switched to a different photo gallery company.
The process was not easy as I was not able to just simply transfer albums from one company to the other. I have to manually upload each picture in every album individually, and redo all the captions for each photo.
So, it is taking me awhile to get the large volume of photos transferred.
I have received several emails asking about some of the albums that have not been transferred, so I wanted to let everyone know I am still working on it.
Sorry it has taken so long, and thanks for your patience!
You can keep up with the latest uploads by clicking here.
Or just click on the Photos link at the top of this page and look through all the albums. You can also click on Last Uploads from the Photos page.
April 21, 2009
From Pro Football Weekly writer, Nolan Nawrocki’s article, Teams’ defensive schemes shape their draft decisions:
There is no one in the NFL better than Hall of Fame-worthy, legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau at disguising pressure packages the way he so tactfully does with a quartet of athletic linebackers who drop into coverage as well as they can rush the passer.
Despite all the headlines that may go to James Harrision, James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons, few are as underrated as DE Aaron Smith, NT Casey Hampton and DE Brett Keisel, all of whom excel doing the dirty work in the trenches, plugging the run and occupying blockers to keep their linebackers free.
Safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark are both very physical, and CBs Ike Taylor and Deshea Townsend efficient in zone coverage. The loss of Bryant McFadden creates a need for a cornerback, but this defense is as good as it gets all the way around and should remain the league’s best next season.
Click here to check out the nice banner Snow College posted to congratulate Keisel on his Superbowl win.
April 20, 2009
THE START OF OTA’S
OTA’s began today for the Steelers. The first organized team activity of the season took place today at the team’s practice facility on the South Side.
Keisel, along with many other starters, participated in practice today.
To see a larger version of the photo to the left, clickhere.
The Steelers were also sized for their Superbowl XLIII rings.
To see a couple photos of Brett during the ring sizing, click here.
To read about the rings, click here.
If you have not visited Big Ben News recently, be sure to stop over there! Ben Roethlisberger’s unofficial site has an amazing new look!
April 19, 2009
STEELERS PLAY DIFFERENT SPORT FOR CHARITY
Steelers players played basketball for a good cause Saturday night at Norwin High School.
Brett Keisel and other members of the team faced off against faculty to raise money for the Norwin PTA programs.
“It’s a great time. We play them every year. It’s a great fundraiser for our school district. The kids have a blast and that’s what it’s all about,” said Mike Feorene. The game benefited students in the Norwin School District who participate in school activities.
To watch a video of Keisel and the rest of the players in action, click here.
April 17, 2009
BRETT TO PLAY IN BEN ROETHLISBERGER CHALLENGE
Ben Roethlisberger is once again hosting a benefit basketball game in his hometown of Findlay, Ohio.
The game will be played at Findlay High School on April 25, 2009. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and doors will open at 6:00 p.m.
Brett is reported to be joining Ben again this year, and it is possible (but not confirmed) that other Steelers may join in.
The annual basketball game generates funds for the Ben Roethlisberger Scholarship, which funds scholarships for the FHS football program.
Tickets for the Ben Roethlisberger benefit basketball game will be sold from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the athletic office. Tickets will also be sold Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Tickets are also available at Morey’s on Tiffin Avenue and Main Street News.
There were tickets sold at the door last year, but they sold out quickly!
There will be many raffles and auction items, including Ben’s signed Super Bowl helmet.
I attended the game last year, and the guys put on a great show, and there were tons of great items auctioned!
To read about the game last year, click here.
April 14, 2009
2009 NFL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
The NFL announced the 2009 schedules tonight.
I have posted the Steelers schedule on the right side of this page under, Schedule.
NFL.com’s Vic Carucci listed the TOP 10 must- see games to watch this season. Two of the 10 games are with the Steelers. One is when they play the Ravens, and the second is when they play Tennessee.
Click here to read his article.
April 9, 2009
KEISEL JUNIOR GENIUSES
I have received many requests for a Q & A session with Brett. Well, who better to conduct one than his nephews and niece?
Gabe, Zack, and Abby Keisel put together a project for the Jr. Genius fair at their school. They chose to do their presentation on the Steelers, focusing on the team’s history, what goes on at training camp, and what it takes to stay in shape to compete in the NFL.
As seen in the photo on the left, Gabe (left) and Zack (right) had a table set up complete with a poster of the Steelers history, including the year the Steelers organization began, the amount Mr. Rooney paid for the team, and the years and locations of Superbowl titles the team won (complete with scores). It is evident they did their research!
The table also included GameDay programs from the team, and various items from the Steelers and their Uncle Brett. They also had pictures of Ben Roethlisberger, Brett’s good friend available. The table included two hand drawn pictures-one of Brett and one of Ben. To top off their amazing presentation, Keisel’s highlight video was playing in the background.
Interview with Uncle Brett
The photo to the left is of Zack and Abby at their Steelers table.
Read the end of today’s post to see how to enlarge the photos to see them better!
The talented trio of Jr. Geniuses interviewed Brett to find out what his hobbies are, and what moves him.
What happens at Training Camp:
Brett explained that they begin with 85 players, and will eventually get down to 43. They work on agility drills, timed sprints, and fitness training. The players also work on learning plays. The camp is six weeks, and the players live together in one facility away from their families.
What do players do in the offseason to stay in shape:
Brett said that players have to work constantly to stay in shape. They also have to eat well and stay healthy all year long.
What Moves You?
Brett loves being active and loves to set goals to achieve. He said he knew the only way to become a two-time Superbowl Champion was to be dedicated and to work hard.
What are your hobbies:
Brett enjoys spending time with his family, and he also likes to fish, hunt, and camp.
The presentation looked great, and I am sure it was the hit of the fair!
From the looks of this project, it is apparent that the hard work and dedication Brett talked about is a Keisel family trait!
I want to thank Gabe, Zack, and Abby for sharing the project with all of us! And, thanks to Jamie and Connie for their great pics and information.
To see the photos above enlarged (so you can see more clearly the poster and the hard work they put into their project), click here. You can also see a bit more close-up the items on their presentation table!
April 6, 2009
SPRING WORKOUTS ARE HERE
The time is drawing near for spring workouts! One step closer to training camp 2009 and to football season!
From The Post Gazette:
The Steelers will hold their first two of 14 organized team activities before the draft April 20 and 21, according to a list of their spring drills released yesterday.
The OTAs, as they are called, are voluntary activities that include practices without pads. In addition to the 14 voluntary sessions, coach Mike Tomlin will hold a required minicamp the weekend of May 1-3.
The remaining OTAs will take place May 19-21, May 26-28 and June 9-11.
Preseason schedule finalized…
The Steelers preseason schedule is now finalized, and can be seen on the right side of this page under Schedule.
Thanks from Blake Ferrell
I received a message from a friend of mine awhile back about Blake, who will soon turn eighteen. He was in a horrible car accident in January of this year. He suffered severe brain trauma, and was not expected to live.
Blake defied the odds and survived an injury that has a ONE PERCENT survival rate. He is now home with his family.
Due to his severe brain trauma, Blake is going through physical and occupational therapy.
He is a big Steelers fan, and during the Superbowl he was still in a semi-coma. His mother kept the television on during the game so he could listen to the game.
Blake’s family sent a nice thank you for the Brett Keisel picture and Steelers gear sent. His story also reached the Steelers organization, and they sent Blake an autographed team picture and passes to training camp this year.
We wish Blake the best, and are glad to hear he is doing better!
April 3, 2009
KEISEL ATTENDS DAPPER DAN SPORTS BANQUET
Coach Dick LeBeau was awarded the Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award. LeBeau received tributes from players past and present, including Rod Woodson, Jason Gildon, Brett Keisel and James Farrior.
LeBeau spoke words all Steelers coaches, players, and fans wanted to hear:
“This really is a great day to be alive. I love you, Pittsburgh. You’re never going to get rid of me now.”
Coach LeBeau talked about life saying:
“Don’t drop out of it folks. Stay in life, man. Life is for living. If you do, you might be lucky enough to fall into a bunch of guys like this (he turns to his players) that make you smart as hell.”
LeBeau spoke on each of his defensive starters…
…He touched on Brett Keisel as the “skinny mountain man” from BYU.
LeBeau also said:
“I remember there were two guys I always saw working hard in the room-Brett and James Harrison, they were in there everyday.”
Also honored during the ceremony was Coach Mike Tomlin.
He was named Sportsman of the Year.
Tomlin had this to say during his speech:
“I have the best coaching job in professional sports.”
“I want to thank the Rooneys for giving me the opportunity to do what I do. And our players and our coaches are second to none.”
To see a partial video of LeBeau’s and Tomlins’s speeches, click here.
To watch both of their entire speeches, click here.
You can read Robert Dvorchak’s entire article on the event, here.
…To see a few screen captures from the event, click here.
Brett is in the far left of the photos
March 30, 2009
MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM SB XLIII
Keisel’s game-ending fumble recovery…
I doubt anyone has forgotten Brett’s fumble recovery to seal the win for the Steelers. But, just in case a reminder is necessary, check out the great photo above!
The photo was taken by A. Charness. I think it is the best shot I have seen of the fumble recovery!
Mr. Charness took some great photos of Keisel. To see them, and to view a larger version of the above picture (and of this week’s Keisel Kam picture), click here.
Thank you to Mr. Charness for sharing his wonderful photos!
March 27, 2009
KEISEL AND HOKE HEADING INTO SPACE?
No, but both men did get to speak to NASA Astronaut Mike Finck while he is aboard the International Space Station.
From Teresa Varley’s article, Steelers Nation extends into space,on Steelers.com:
NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke became an Internet sensation when the Pittsburgh native cheered his hometown Steelers on from of all places, aboard the International Space Station. During a video message prior to the AFC Championship game, Fincke had the opportunity to talk football and showed his support of the Steelers by putting on a hat and doing one of the most unique Terrible Towel waves ever, as he and the towel floated in zero gravity.
Fincke, who is the commander of the three-astronaut Expedition 18 crew, grew up in Emsworth, Pa. and has always been a Steelers fan and was thrilled to be able to actually watch the black and gold in action during the playoffs thanks to Mission Control. “We’d like to say that up here, its Steeler country,” a smiling Fincke said during the message.
It was something that stirred Steelers fans and players alike, who were all amazed that the support reached so far. So there was no doubt that when the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and NASA arranged to do a video link with Fincke for local students on Thursday that the black and gold would have to be a part of it.
Defensive linemen Chris Hoke and Brett Keisel joined the group of students at the Carnegie Science Center and surprised Fincke during the live video link, leading an enthusiastic Terrible Towel wave to show their support of him. Not surprisingly, Fincke had his towel and was ready to join right in.
“He is a big part of the Steelers Nation,” said Hoke. “For him to be up there waving his towel and supporting us, telling us how awesome we are and how great the game was, it was exciting. It’s guys like him who make us who we are and make the Steelers who they are.”
Hoke and Keisel both had the chance to ask Fincke questions, including how he sleeps in the space station, to what each day is like and even if they have found any aliens out there.
“It was really cool,” said Keisel. “It was something I have never experienced. I had butterflies. This guy is out in space exploring for us and the whole world. It was cool to have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with him and ask questions. It was really neat.”
Fincke, who did get to watch the Super Bowl, was all smiles when the players invited him to come and watch practice whenever he is back in Pittsburgh. “You get the whole city riled-up and bring out the best in people,” said Fincke, who returns to Earth on April 7. “You had a great season this year and will have a better one next year. You guys are amazing.”
The feeling was definitely mutual.
“It’s amazing that he maybe knows who we are,” said Keisel. “These scientists do so much for everyone’s knowledge. That they know us and appreciate what we do and we can maybe provide some sort of entertainment for him is really neat. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to talk to him.”
Hoke, who when Fincke disappeared from the video monitor for a moment while floating asked him “where did you go bro,” was looking forward to sharing the experience with his kids.
“It was so cool to talk to a guy in the space station,” said Hoke. “When you were in the room you felt like you were there with him. He is a really cool guy. To ask questions and see what every day life like is for him is amazing. I kind of wish I was up there with him right now.”
Once Hoke and Keisel were finished with their questions, area students had the opportunity to ask some of their own. Fincke shared the story of how he used to go to the Carnegie Science Center when it was known as Buhl Planetarium and as a kid hoped to one day be an astronaut.
“The greatest lesson Mike teaches all of us is to dream big,” said Keisel. “He came here when he was a little kid and dreamt about being an astronaut. He stuck with it. Went to school, did what it took and look where he is today.”
To see photos of Keisel and Hoke at Carnegie Science Center, click here.
I received a couple fan photos from Brian Griffith. They are from the San Diego playoff game. Click here to see them.
Thanks to Brian for sharing his pictures!
March 23, 2009
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2009 SEASON…
Going through football withdrawals?
Well, offseason workouts have started, and mini camps and OTA’s will be here before we know it…along with training camp ’09!
Also, since the Steelers are the current Superbowl champions, they get to kick off the 2009 regular season games!
It was announced today that the Steelers will play the Titans on Thursday, September 10, 2009 at Heinz Field. The game will air on NBC at 8:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh and Tennessee were the top two seeds in the 2008 AFC playoffs.
March 15, 2009
KEISEL HELPS RAISE MONEY FOR WOODLANDS FOUNDATION
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Brett Keisel, Patrick Bailey and Jason Capizzi were at Atria’s in Wexford for a Woodland Foundation event.
The event included Jason Capizzi guest bartending, with several Steelers teammates attending to raise money for the 2009 Woodlands Sports Challenge.
The Woodlands Foundation is committed to enriching the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness in Western Pennsylvania.
To read more about the Woodlands Foundation, click here.
To see a couple photos of Brett at the event, click here.
March 6, 2009
SUPER BOWL CHAMPS CAN PLAY SOME HOOPS, TOO
From Mike Bires, of the Beaver County Times:
If you loved the Pittsburgh Steelers on the football field, you’re bound to love them on the basketball court.
Yes, many of those Super Bowl champion Steelers like to show off their hoops skills. They do so in a series of fund-raising games each winter and spring held throughout western Pennsylvania.
“Not only are these guys good football players, but they’re also good athletes,” said Tom O’Malley, the president of a Pittsburgh-based insurance company who’s been coaching the Steelers’ basketball team since 1970. “So it should come to no surprise that they’re pretty good at basketball, too.”
The Steelers’ basketball team started an ambitious 66-game schedule on Friday at Ellwood City High School. It plays two to four games a week.
Providing the opposition for them are pick-up teams comprised of faculty, coaches, athletes, employees or celebrities chosen by the school or charity staging the event.
In a given season, between 30 to 35 Steelers will agree to participate for at least a few games pending their schedules. On any given night, O’Malley never knows who’s going to show up for a game. But there’s a gentleman’s agreement among players that as many as seven to 10 Steelers must show up for each game.
One of the best basketball players among the Steelers is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was a three-sport star in high school. He plays in about 15-20 of the games.
“A couple years ago at Ambridge, Ben did something that really turned the crowd on,” Cosgrove said. “At one point as he was running down the court, he just ran up into the stands and sat down with some of the fans. “Then someone threw him a ball, and, from the stands, he threw up a shot that went in. The place went crazy.”
Among other Steelers who play hoops well are defensive end Brett Keisel, wide receiver Hines Ward, cornerback Deshea Towsend, quarterback Chalie Batch and even linebacker James Harrison, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
Tickets for Steeler basketball games are $7 each. And at halftime at each game, the Steelers playing that day will autograph one item per boy or girl.
I would like to add, since the article mentions Roethlisberger being a three-sport star in high school, that Keisel was also a three-sport star. He was a four-year letter winner in football and basketball. He also lettered twice in track.
Some of the upcoming Steelers basketball games:
March 11: Riverside High School
March 22: Edinboro University-see March 1 news for information on that game.
April 11: Cornell High School
April 16: Robert Morris University
April 22: Ambridge High School
May 12: Beaver Falls
If anyone attends the game, and gets pictures of Keisel, feel free to send them here to post!
Brett and Sarah Keisel are being honored at The 10th Anniversary Champions for Children Benefit March 9th. Information on the event, along with a list of the great prizes being auctioned, can be found in the Feb. 10 news, or at the right side of this page, under Events and Appearances.
March 1, 2009
NEWS AND NOTES
While Keisel and the rest of the team are enjoying some well deserved time off, I figured I’d post some links for great Steelers merchandise.
The picture shown above, of the NFL’s #1 defense, can be purchased through Steelers.com. You can also order the Superbowl Team picture there.
Want to relive this season? Click here to order Six Times Super-The Official Superbowl Book of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Keisel jersey update:
As of now, it doesn’t sound like Fanzz is going to carry his jersey. That may change and I will keep you posted. Thanks to all of you who contacted the store requesting the jersey. You may have luck here.
As I mentioned, I have no idea if Keisel is playing this year, or what the schedule is, but I did receive this information regarding an upcoming game on March 22:
Again, I do not know which Steelers are playing in the game, but if you are in the area stop by and check out the action! And, if Brett does play, send some pictures our way!
February 22, 2009
GOT #99 ???
That seems to be the question of the month! Everyone is searching for a #99 jersey. I have received several email requests asking where to find one.
Many stores in Pittsburgh do carry the Keisel replica jerseys. The Steelers Online Store is one that carries it. You can order online or visit any of their listed locations. Click here to check out the replica jersey, or any other Steelers merchandise. You can also special order an authentic Keisel jersey there.
I am also told a store called Fanzz in Orem, Utah carries sports apparel. If you are in the area, or outside the area, maybe give them a call and tell them you are looking for a Keisel jersey. Their telephone number is 801-224-1166. Their address is :575 E. University Parkway.
Click here to visit their website. They advertise a lot of Steelers gear, but at this time I did not locate a Keisel jersey. I am quite sure it would be a huge seller in Utah, so they may need some prompting from fans!
If anyone knows of any other stores that may carry Keisel premier jerseys, let me know. I have located replicas, and some stores will special order the authentic, but I did not locate the premier as of yet. You can email me (click on Contact at top of this page) if you have any ideas.
I have received several emails asking whether Brett will be playing on the Steelers basketball team this offseason. I do not know if he is, but if I see any information, I will post it here.
February 18, 2009
THE KEISEL’S ATTEND PROCLAMATION CEREMONY
The Pittsburgh Steelers were honored by Allegheny County Council for the team’s victory in Super Bowl XLIII, the sixth title won by the team.
Brett and his family, along with Steelers president Art Rooney II, attended the ceremony on behalf of the the Steelers organization.
From Teresa Varley’s article on Steelers.com:
County Council President Rich Fitzgerald read the proclamation, which honored the accomplishments of the team in the game and the manner in which the team operates.
“I think its important to not just note that this is an organization and team that won a sixth World Championship, the only organization to have six Super Bowls, but the way they represented this community with such dignity and such class,” said Fitzgerald. “How they represented us not just in winning, but how they did it makes us all proud.
“As anybody knows with the Steeler nation, and it truly is a Steeler nation all over this nation, the crowds, the turnout to root for this franchise because of what they represent binds us all and makes us a part of a stronger community.”
Rooney also presented council with a game ball from Super Bowl XLIII.
“In the football world when somebody accomplishes something or has a great game, after the game they are awarded a game ball,” said Rooney. “A couple of years ago I was able to bring a game ball here in council and present it after we won Super Bowl XL. We are back again and hopefully this will become a habit that every so often we come back with a ball.
To read the entire article, click here.
To view photos from the event, click here.
February 17, 2009
KEISEL IN THE COMMUNITY
The Steelers ended their amazing season with a Superbowl victory. Keisel tackled the season, filled with one of the toughest schedules ever and a couple of injuries, with fierce determination.
Following each injury, Keisel came back to the field stronger than ever. This goes to show how hard he worked with trainers, and on his own, to get back on the field with his teammates.
You would think after all the hard work Keisel put in from training camp to the Superbowl, he would sit back and relax during the offseason.
But, if this offseason is like the ones prior, that will not happen.
Brett has talked in various interviews about how he works out daily during the offseason.
In one interview he said:
“In order to be in this league you have to stay in shape all of the time. There basically is no offseason.”
Keisel wants to make sure children understand the importance of keeping in shape also. He worked with the What Moves U organization in years past. It is a curriculum-based activity program designed to fight the childhood obesity epidemic by motivating middle school students to get up and move. Under the program, teachers incorporate physical activity into their lesson plans to help children become more fit while they learn.
Keisel visited area schools to talk about staying in shape, and to teach children ways to become active.
Click here to read more about the program. There is also an article in the 2007 Articles section.
I also added some photos from some of the What Moves U assemblies. They were in the old photo gallery, and I have finally moved them to the new one.
Click here to view them. There are several pages of photos.
…I have transferred some other albums from the old gallery. Click here to view shots from a photo shoot, and here to view pictures from an assembly Brett attended to teach children about the dangers of alcohol.
Brett is also involved with fighting Cystic Fibrosis, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (see the news from February 10 for information on this event), and various other causes. In the past he has also showcased his basketball talents while playing on the Steelers basketball team.
There are also a couple photos from his playing days at BYU. Click here to see them.
…I have moved several news stories to the Archives page. Click on ARCHIVES at the top of this page to access them.
February 12, 2009
BOY TACKLES SUPER JOB
Not all the reporters at Superbowl XLIII Media Day were seasoned vets. At least one was a first-timer.
From Jessica Balanza’s article in The Tampa Tribune:
Ten-year-old Tyler Smith was among more than 3,400 credentialed reporters Super Bowl XLIII week. The fifth-grader was nominated by his teachers at Claywell Elementary to provide Super Bowl coverage for the Weekly Reader, a magazine aimed at students. Part of Tyler’s job was to attend Media Day, the Super Bowl and then write stories, which were published on the Weekly Reader website.
During Tyler’s two assignments, he had to time himself to also get his stories written. He said he began writing his Media Day story during a break and then finished it at home. He wrote his Super Bowl story during the game.
“It wasn’t too difficult,” Tyler said. “It was a little hard piecing it all together.”
In an interview in December, Tyler said he wanted to be a football player. And after his Super Bowl experience he said he is considering being a reporter as a backup plan.
“I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff he got to do,” said Tyler’s dad, Richard. “He was so calm and collected. It was a great experience for him.”
Tyler’s question to Keisel:
“How does this Super Bowl compare to your last one?”
Well, it’s nice and warm and sunny, and I didn’t get a chance to be interviewed by a junior reporter [last time], so that’s been exciting. It’s a great feeling to be able to play for my second Super Bowl.
Tyler is pictured above with Brett. To see a larger version of the picture, click here.
To read Tyler’s story from Media Week, click here.
There is a link in the article to read the actual interviews he did. You can also view more photos.
I received another photo from Superbowl week. Jerry and Sonja, friends of the Keisel’s, went to the Superbowl. They sent me a photo they had taken with Brett after the big win.
Click here to see it. There is also a picture in that same gallery of Keisel with Jerry and Sonja’s two adorable daughters from 2007.
February 10, 2009
CHANCE TO WIN GREAT PRIZES AND TO SUPPORT A GREAT CAUSE
Brett and his wife Sarah are once again attending the Champions for Children Benefit.
They are special honored guests, and are donating some great items for the auction.
The event, The 10th Anniversary Champions for Children Benefit, will be held on March 9 at the Rivers Club in Oxford Centre.
Proceeds benefit the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, a cause the Keisel’s support.
What is the Homeless Children’s Education Fund?
The Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF), a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1999 to supplement federal funding for the educational needs of local homeless children. Over the years, HCEF’s role in the community has developed and expanded to meet these needs.
To read more about HCEF, click here. The link is also on the links page on this site.
The event includes food, drinks, and great auctions!
Some of the items the Keisel’s have donated…
… A dinner at Capital Grille with Brett and Sarah Keisel, tickets for pre-season and regular season Steelers games, official NFL balls autographed by Troy Polamalu, Brett Keisel, and the Sixpack-winning team, and VIP tickets for the 2009 Steelers Training Camp!
There are many, many more great prizes being auctioned, including a night at a Penguins game for you and nineteen friends!
Click here to view some of the items up for auction.
Click here to read more about the great event, and to order tickets. Support a worthy cause, and have fun at the same time!
I also have the event information listed on the right side of this page under Events and Appearances.
To see photos of Brett at this event last year, click here.
February 8, 2009
MORE PHOTOS ADDED
I have added some more photos to the gallery. Clickhere to view them.
To see all the SB photos, click here.
There are five pages of photos. If you have any from the game that you would like to share, let me know! Click here to contact me.
Fan photos added:
My friend, Jennifer was lucky enough to be able to go to the Superbowl this year, and she snapped some good shots of #99 for me!
I have posted them, along with some pictures of Brett that she took last year during a Monday Night Football game. I posted awhile back about her going to the game last year…and getting Keisel’s armband. He handed it to her as he left the field after the game that night!
There is a photo of him handing it to her in the pictures she sent. Click here to see her photos.
To see a larger photo of the picture shown above, click here.
The picture is of Brett’s father and brother when they attended the Saturday practice prior to the Superbowl. Many of Brett’s family members (and friends) went to Florida for the game to cheer him on!
February 3, 2009
THE VICTORY CELEBRATION CONTINUES
Superbowl XLIII Victory Parade in Pittsburgh
An estimated 350,000 to 400,000 fans attended the victory parade today in Pittsburgh.
“What do you say to this?” Tomlin asked the massive crowd. “Steeler Nation, you leave us all speechless, man, we just appreciate the love. How about the Steelers? How about the greatest fans in the world? How about number six? Thank you, we love you guys.”
Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney thanked the city for its support over the years – and said there is more history to be made.
“Stay with us,” Rooney said. “Maybe we’ll get the seventh next year.”
One by one, coaches and players spoke to the crowd.
Keisel gets huge applause and cheers with his speech:
“What’s up Pittsburghhhhhhh!!! I got one question: how does that six-pack taste? Alright, alright, now we gotta shoot for seventh heaven baby! God bless you all!”
A huge black and gold banner hung in front of the City-County building, reading “Welcome to Steelers Country Super Bowl XLIII Champions.” The City Council voted to symbolically change the city’s name to Sixburgh for the day, as the Steelers are the first team to win six Super Bowls.
To view photos of Brett from the parade, click here.
Thank you so much to Erin, of Big Ben News for doing the screen captures and quotes for me! Visit her site to check out photos and quotes from Ben Roethlisberger during the parade!
…I have moved many News stories to the archives. Click here to view them, or you can always click on Archives at the top of this page!
February 2, 2009
SUPERBOWL XLIII PHOTOS
I have added several SB XLIII photos to the gallery. I will add more as I find them.
Click here to see them. There are three pages of photos.
…Congratulations to Coach Tomlin for winning Motorola Coach of the Year and to James Harrison for winning the Defensive MVP award!
February 1, 2009
KEISEL EARNS SUPERBOWL RING #2
Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
THE STEELERS ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS-FOR THE 6TH TIME!
The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off what some deemed impossible this season. With the tough schedule they were assigned, with the “so-called” aging defense, and with numerous injuries..the Steelers not only made it to the Superbowl…they won it!
The Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowls. In the process, they denied the Arizona Cardinals a chance to become the most improbable of Super Bowl champions.
And they did it in dramatic fashion.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger rallied the Steelers after they squandered a 13-point lead, and his late-game heroics produced a 27-23 win and one of the most memorable finishes in Super Bowl history.
Roethlisberger led the Steelers on one of his patented fourth-quarter comebacks, and he capped a 78-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left in the game. Holmes made a spectacular catch amidst heavy traffic in the back-right corner of the end zone and managed to keep his toes in bounds.
Holmes was awarded the game MVP.
Last night’s game at Raymond James Stadium produced many memorable moments and the longest play in Super bowl history.
With the Steelers clinging to a 10-7 lead at the end of the first half, James Harrison picked off Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and then made one of the best runs in Super Bowl history.
He rumbled the length of the field, breaking several tackles along the way before crashing through two Cardinals into the end zone.
His 100-yard touchdown allowed the Steelers to take a 10-point lead into the locker room. It also punctuated an entertaining first half.
The Cardinals came back, and with 2:37 left in the game Warner gave Arizona its first lead when he threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald.
Roethlisberger completed four passes to Holmes on a drive that won’t be soon forgotten, and a last-gasp push by Arizona ended when Warner fumbled after LaMarr Woodley sacked him. Keisel then recovered the fumble to seal the win for Pittsburgh!
Keisel had five tackles and a fumble recovery in the Steelers win!
I will add game photos and more coverage tomorrow so check back!
Congratulations to Keisel and the Steelers on a great win and a great season!
This is Brett’s second Superbowl victory.
January 30, 2009
STEELERS ‘D’ A CLOSE-KNIT GROUP
From Frank Buck’s article entitled, In the Line of Fire, in the Altoona Mirror:
Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel grew up in Wyoming and is an avid outdoors man.
He said he’s asked several of his fellow defensive linemen to join him on a fishing trip to his home state, but none has taken him up on the offer yet.
“I took [quarterback] Ben [Roethlisberger] fishing in Wyoming last year,” Keisel said Thursday during a Super Bowl XLIII media session at the University of South Florida. ”I’ve invited the defensive line guys to go, too, because the fishing there is incredible, and so is the hunting. But I think they’re scared to go because they might get eaten by a grizzly.”
Keisel’s assumption may be untrue because it’s hard to imagine any of the Steelers’ defensive linemen being afraid of anything.
They have upheld the tradition of the Steel Curtain defense and are one of the big reasons why the Steelers have the No. 1-ranked defensive unit in the NFL heading into Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals.
The inability to plan a group fishing trip may be the only situation where the defensive linemen are not on the same page. The starting unit of Smith, Keisel and nose tackle Casey Hampton has a combined 25 years with the Steelers.
”We’re an experienced group,” Smith said. ”We know what to do. We have guys you can count on week in and week out, and we have quality backups so when someone goes down we don’t miss a beat.”
The defensive linemen also go unnoticed many times in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense. They are the guys who try and take on two blockers and free the linebackers up to make the big tackle or the sack.
One big reason (for their success) is the group’s camaraderie. The linemen said they get together several times throughout the season, and their wives and kids are all friends.
They also pulled together when Smith’s 5-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this season.
”We do all really genuinely love each other,” Keisel said. ”We consider each other family.”
Keisel talks about his teammates:
“We genuinely love each other. “Ben (Roethlisberger) has talked about being a band of brothers. It’s really what it is. We care about each other. We care about each other’s families. We know each other’s families. We spend time with each other, just like we’re a regular family. When you get that kind of chemistry, you’ve got a special team on your hands.”
“Guys that come here from other teams say this is the greatest place in the world just because you can feel the love and feel the continuity between everybody.Now we’ve got to finish it. If we can go out and win this game, we have a chance to be remembered in this league as one of the great defenses of all time. Really, that’s remarkable.”
I added some more practice photos. Click here to see them.
January 29, 2009
EX-COUGAR KEISEL BACK IN SUPER BOWL, THIS TIME AS STARTER
From Kurt Kragthorpe’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune:
Brett Keisel dived to make a tackle, heard his knee pop and figured his season was over.
Two months later, he’s back in the Super Bowl, preparing to start Sunday’s game at defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers and thankful the injury that scared him became only a three-week setback.
The favorable test results and some rehabilitation sent him back onto the field for the last two games of the regular season, followed by two playoff victories that sent the Steelers back to the Super Bowl. Keisel was mostly a special-teams player three years ago when Pittsburgh beat Seattle for the championship, then he moved into the starting lineup the following season and has stayed there.
Starting Super Bowl XLIII will complete quite a climb for a player who was born in Provo, grew up mostly on a 1,000-acre ranch in a small town in Wyoming with some 150 students in his high school, had his Brigham Young career interrupted by a forced transfer to Snow College, switched positions and was five picks away from being undrafted until the Steelers took him in 2002.
More from Kragthorpe’s article:
“The best thing about Brett is he’s well grounded,” said his father, Lane Keisel.
He did not have much choice. Besides occupying Brett with farming chores of planting crops, irrigating and attending to horses and cattle, his father made sure he did not engage in any showboating antics while starring in football and basketball for tiny Greybull High School. By now, Lane Keisel can tolerate his son’s occasional display of exuberance, like his “rowing” simulation after a playoff sack of Philip Rivers, San Diego’s quarterback.
Whatever lessons were yet unlearned came in the middle of Keisel’s BYU days, when academic issues sent him to Snow. He describes the experience as “the biggest blessing,” although it may not have struck him that way at the time. In Ephraim, Keisel suddenly was buying his own textbooks and football shoes, after having everything covered at BYU. “It really knocked me off my high horse,” he said. “It was a big, eye-opening thing for me.”
“It’s almost an overwhelming experience, for your own son to be part of that (the Superbowl),” said Lane Keisel, remembering his Super Bowl trip three years ago. “I knew where he’d come from and what he’d been through.”
To read the entire article, click here.
The photo of Mr. Keisel was published with Mr. Kragthorpe’s story.
Good news for the team and Steelers fans…
…The rumor swirling around about Dick LeBeau’s possible retirement after this season appears to be just that…a rumor! LeBeau told the media this week that he is not planning to retire after the Superbowl.
“The way our players are playing, I’d sure hate to miss another year of this.”
Click here to see photos of Keisel in Tampa.
…I have moved many News stories from this page to the Archives.
January 27, 2009-evening update
MORE PHOTOS ADDED
I was able to locate a few more photos of Brett from Media Day! Click here to see them!
And, thanks again for all the good luck emails for Keisel! I have received many from soldiers overseas who are taking bets on what dance Brett is going to bust out for the Superbowl.
January 27, 2009
Today was Media Day for the Steelers. There were cameras and reporters everywhere, all trying to get to every player.
The day also consisted of the players signing footballs (see photo shown) and taking the official SB XLIII team photo. The video footage of trying to gather and situate all the players was pretty funny.
The players and coaches all seem very relaxed and comfortable under all the spotlight.
Coach Tomlin seems to be doing a great job in helping the players balance between embracing the Superbowl atmosphere, yet focusing on what they are there to do-win a game.
“It’s my goal that we embrace all that comes with being in the Super Bowl,” said Tomlin, who delivered those instructions at a team meeting yesterday. “We’re not going to come down here and have the mentality that we’re going to be resistant of the obligations that we have, or be resistant to these opportunities to visit with the media and so forth.”
Keisel talks about Tomlin’s credo:
“He just wants us to enjoy this time. We’ve worked hard for a long time to get to this point and to come down and not to be able to enjoy it and not have a good time would be defeating the purpose. You can enjoy putting shorts on and flip-flops, and you can enjoy the beach. There are new places, new faces to see and it’s just a good time.”
“We’re down here to do a job and you can’t lose focus of that and I don’t think he’ll let us lose focus of that. He at the same time wants us to be able to enjoy this, he wants us to be able to have this as a good memory. I think that’s his main focus.”
To see a couple photos of Brett during Media Day, and to see the SB XLII team photo, clickhere.
January 26, 2009
KEISEL AND THE STEELERS ARRIVE IN TAMPA
The Steelers arrived in Tampa today to begin preparation for SB XLIII. From the looks of Ben Roethlisberger and Keisel in this picture, they are also preparing for Media Day.
To see a larger version of this photo, and other pictures of Keisel’s arrival, click here.
To see a video from the Post-Gazette, click here.
NFL Network has a schedule of their airings on Media Day. Click here to view it.
Also, visit the NFL Network website to view coverage of SB XLIII news!
Huge thanks to Erin at Big Ben News for sending me pictures of Keisel’s arrival in Tampa-and thanks to her for putting Brett on the front page of her site!
January 24, 2009
THE DIESEL BURGER
From Kurt Kragthorpe’s article in The Salt Lake Tribune, entitled-From Snow to Super Bowl:
Fred Taukei’aho is happily torn about Super Bowl XLIII.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel once was his Snow College teammate and Keisel’s father and brother are among his regular lunchtime customers.
Arizona Cardinals offensive Deuce Lutui also played for Snow and grew so close to the adviser of the school’s Polynesian Club that he still addresses her as “Mom” — just as Fred’s wife does.
No wonder Taukei’aho said, “I don’t know who to root for.”
There could be only one solution: Co-Burgers of the Week.
In Fred’s Sports Grill & Drive Thru on Main Street in Manti, the rival linemen in next Sunday’s game have equal billing these days. Their signed, framed jerseys are displayed together on the wall just inside the door. The menu posted above the counter highlights the Deuce Burger and the Diesel Burger, each being promoted for $4.89 in advance of the Super Bowl.
Whether deciding which massive, lineman-inspired sandwich to order or which team to cheer for in the big game, the residents of central Utah’s Sanpete County figure they will win either way with two ex-Badgers on the field.
Snow is guaranteed a Super Bowl champion.
Keisel, who completed his college career at BYU and won Super Bowl XL with the Steelers, probably has the bigger following, considering his father was one of 14 children who were born to George and Elfia Keisel in Manti and raised in nearby Ephraim. Three generations of Keisels still live in the area. Brett’s parents moved to Fairview in 2000, after his high school days in Wyoming.
Lutui (No. 76) is Arizona’s right guard and Keisel (No. 99) is Pittsburgh’s right end, so they will not directly collide. Yet the basic issue of Super Bowl XLIII is whether Lutui and the Cardinals’ offensive line can protect quarterback Kurt Warner and score against Keisel and the NFL’s No. 1 defense.
Lane Keisel is just glad his son’s pursuits of elusive targets are more fruitful than his own lately. A retired fire fighter, Lane spends his days as a trapper in the Manti-La Sal Mountains, seeking foxes, coyotes and bobcats. “Not a good year for trapping,” he said.
The Diesel Burger, in honor of Keisel’s nickname in Pittsburgh, was recently added to the menu. It features beef, pastrami, swiss cheese, mushrooms and tomato. Even after his morning in the mountains, Lane Keisel settled for a special-ordered junior version of the Diesel. Indeed, for the average person, these burgers are a lot to bite off.
“I’m not just saying this because [Coburn] is here, but Snow was the best thing that happened to Brett,” Keisel’s father said.
To read the entire article, click here.
…I have added a photo of Brett from the Steelers pep rally at Heinz Field. Click here to see it. I will add all photos pertaining to the Superbowl to that gallery, so keep checking back!
Brett talks about Steeler fans:
Brett Keisel walked into Heinz Field on Friday night with a smile on his face. Sure he just fought through traffic to get there, but it really didn’t matter. It was for a good reason.
Keisel was one of the many players on hand at the Steelers Pep Rally and for him it finally made going to the Super Bowl a reality.
“I think this is the first time it set in, when I pulled up, that we are really going to Tampa and we are really playing in the Super Bowl,” said Keisel. “It’s bizarre, but it’s an incredible feeling. I am excited for us and all of Steeler nation. Everywhere we go, doesn’t matter who we are playing, we have fans everywhere. It’s wonderful and as players we really appreciate it.”
January 23, 2009
THE SPEED OF “THE DIESEL”
From Craig Wolfley’s column entitled, Sideline View: AFC Championship Mojo:
Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel were constantly pushing the pocket from the inside so that Flacco had no pocket to step up into. Even a gifted athlete like Flacco can’t get away from that rush. Again I was struck by the closing speed of “The Diesel.” When Brett sheds a blocker his closing speed to the player with the ball is remarkable. Remember too that for much of the game the Ravens were max-protection, using guys to chip at the Silverback and Woodley.
Gregg Rosenthal, of NBCSports.com wrote an article breaking down the Steelers and Cardinals, and deciding who had the edge at each position.
Who does he give the edge to in the Defensive Line position?
Defensive end Aaron Smith may be football’s most underrated player. He doesn’t rack up stats, but takes on blockers and stops the run. Nose tackle Casey Hampton also clogs up running lanes, while defensive end Brett Keisel can rush the passer.
Arizona’s defensive linemen have delivered as playmakers in the playoffs. Darnell Dockett is a great pass rusher and Antonio Smith is coming on from the outside. The Cardinals finished fifth in turnovers forced and have 12 more in three playoff games.
Our pick: Steelers
January 22, 2009
KEISEL THRIVES IN STEELERS’ DEFENSIVE SYSTEM
I came across a good article on Keisel today. It is written by Chris Adamski, of Red Line Editorial.
Some excerpts from his article, Keisel Thrives in Steelers’ Defensive System:
Pittsburgh isn’t the biggest city with an NFL franchise, but it’s still a little too fast-paced for Brett Keisel’s taste.
It’s not that Keisel hasn’t enjoyed his seven seasons with the Steelers or his time in Pittsburgh. He most certainly has.
But when the seventh-year defensive end stacks up his adopted in-season hometown against where he grew up, it simply doesn’t compare, in his mind.
“During the offseason, absolutely, I go back to Wyoming and just kind of lay back,” Keisel said. “Life slows down back there. I’m from a town that has one stop light, so it’s nice to get back and relax and get up in the mornings and work out, and then I have the rest of the day to fish or do whatever.”
Keisel is a native of Greybull, Wyo., in the northwestern corner of the state—not far from Yellowstone National Park. Looking at him, it would probably come as no surprise that he is from the Rocky Mountain West; despite the lack of a cowboy hat, his scruffy beard makes him appear to be a natural at home on a vast ranch.
In addition to growing up in Wyoming and still making the Equality State his permanent residence, Keisel attended Brigham Young University in neighboring Utah. Once he retires, Keisel said he “absolutely” plans to move back to Wyoming with his wife and young son.
“I enjoy going back home and slowing down a little bit and being around the simple life,” Keisel said.
Funny, because the defensive system in which Keisel has thrived in Pittsburgh is anything but simple. A seventh-round draft choice by the Steelers in 2002, Keisel has been a starter for three seasons in Pittsburgh. Under legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the Steelers have been known for their complex schemes and blitz packages.
At 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, Keisel’s athleticism thrives when given those chances—chances that LeBeau has also given, in a more conventional fashion, to Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu. But Keisel is deceptively quick and athletic for someone his size.
“Coach Lebeau has really given me the freedom to get up and move around and try and confuse the offense,” Keisel said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I feel like a “Big Troy.” I watched him for a couple years come up to the line and act like he’s going somewhere and go somewhere else. It’s been fun.”
During that breakout 2005 campaign, Keisel enjoyed perhaps his greatest game on one of the biggest of stages. Still only on the field for a limited number of snaps, Keisel had his first career two-sack game and forced a fumble during the Steelers’ win at Denver in the AFC Championship game.
That contest, of course, led to Keisel being able to enjoy his greatest triumph: winning Super Bowl XL along with his teammates. The ring he earned as reward for that feat is one of his most-prized possessions.
To read the entire article, click here.
…I have moved a large number of previous News stories to the Archives section. Click on Archives at the top of this page to check out any stories you’ve missed.
January 20, 2009
BRETT ON ESPN’S FIRST TAKE
Brett was interviewed by ESPN’s Wendi Nix today. The interview appeared on First Take.
It was not a video telecast, but I did transcribe the interview.
Wendi: Brett, congratulations. This was the first AFC Championship game won at Heinz Field. So, I ask what was it like celebrating at home in front of the fans?
Brett: I think it was a long time coming. It was great to beat the team that we play twice during the year too in our division. So, that as very euphoric.
Wendi: Mike Tomlin told your team that only one defense would be remembered after the AFC Championship game. What did your defense prove in that win?
Brett: It just proved that we can do what we’ve done all year long. Which is play hard and play ’til the end. We have alot of love for each other in that locker room and we knew it was going to come down to us in the game. And, if we could shut them down we would win. We had the points at halftime and we just stuck together ’til the end. Which is what we’ve done all year and I’m proud of our guys.
Wendi: Well, this is your seventh year with the Steelers. Where does this years defense rank among those in your time in Pittsburgh?
Brett: It’s on the top. This defense is so fast and plays so physical. It’s definitely on the top. You know, we just really love going out there and competing with each other, we love our coaches and we just really have a good time. We very excited to be going to Tampa.
Wendi: As you begin your preparations, and I know it’s early, you’ve got two weeks. But, what stands out to you about that Cardinals offense?
Brett: The head honcho, Ken Whisenhunt. You know, we’ve been to the Superbowl together. I guess that the biggest thing for me is I know alot of those guys that will be on the other side and I have alot of respect for those guys. I guess that’s the most shocking thing about the whole deal.
Wendi: Does it make it unique preparing for a team whose head coach you know so well. Also, Russ Grimm was on that coaching staff with Bill Cowher.
Brett: It’s extremely unique. Kevin Spencer basically gave me my shot in this league on special teams seven years ago (Spencer left the Steelers and now is on the Cardinals coaching staff). So, I have alot of love and respect for alot of those guys and it’ll be great to see them again.
Wendi: Hard to believe the Steelers have a chance to win their sixth Superbowl. That is more than any other team. What would that mean to you to be a part of that?
Brett: It’ll be incredible to go down in history. To do something no other team has done. It would just be a great finish to a great season and we’re all excited about the opportunity.
The team had today off, but will resume practice on Wednesday.
January 19, 2009
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hines Ward on the Steelers defense:
“Sometimes guys get hit so hard, you don’t know if they’re going to get up. They say defense wins championships, well, we have the No. 1 defense. And they’re the reason why we’re really going to the Super Bowl.”
An excerpt from Tribune-Review writer John Harris:
I’d be remiss in not making the Steelers’ defense the lead of this column following the team’s biggest win since the last game of the 2005 season.
By virtue of Sunday night’s brutal, hard-hitting, 23-14, Rembrandt-quality win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field, the Steelers will make their second trip to the Super Bowl in three years. They have the unique opportunity to become the first team to win six Super Bowls when they face the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1 at Tampa, Fla.
If they’ve done it once, the Steelers defense has done it at least a dozen times this season.
Make no mistake, this is the No. 1 defense in the NFL we’re talking about. That’s the real reason why the Steelers are playing in Super Bowl XLIII.
You may fool the Steelers once, as Baltimore did on a short touchdown drive following Jim Leonhard’s long punt return in the first half. Twice, even.
Do it three times, and the Steelers probably lose. That’s the beauty of the Steelers’ defense. They bend, but they don’t break.
How good is this Steelers defense?
Baltimore didn’t commit a turnover in its first two playoff games. The Ravens turned the ball over four times against the Steelers, including three Flacco interceptions.
Things like this happen all the time against the Steelers’ top-ranked defense.
Excuse me, make that the Steelers’ Super Bowl defense.
To read the entire article, click here.
Can be seen here.
Take a trip down memory lane…
…Click here to see some pictures of Brett from Superbowl XL.
Thanks to everyone for all the emails and messages! I am sure Brett knows you all wish him and the team good luck!
To read the entire article, click here.
For Troy Polamalu fans…
January 18, 2009
HERE WE GO STEELERS…
…Here we go…all the way to SB XLIII!!
Steelers 23, Ravens 14
Yes, it’s true. The same Steelers with the toughest schedule in the NFL, the same Steelers with the defense the media dubbed as “too old”, and the same Steelers who overcame numerous injuries to key players all season. That same team is heading to Florida to play the Arizona Cardinals in Superbowl XLIII!
The Steelers players, coaches, and management said all year that the schedule and injuries would not define them. So true!
The defense the media called ‘too old” all throughout the offseason are ranked #1…yes #1.
About the game:
The Steelers defense harassed rookie Joe Flacco all game long. Normally unflappable, he looked lost at times and finished 13-for-30 for 141 yards and three costly interceptions.
All-Pro strong safety Troy Polamalu intercepted a Joe Flacco pass intended for Derrick Mason and cut cross-field to return it 40 yards for a touchdown with 4:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers scored another turnover to clinch the victory with 3:29 remaining, when free safety Ryan Clark laid a crushing hit on Ravens running back Willis McGahee to force a fumble recovered by linebacker Lawrence Timmons at the Baltimore 38. McGahee, placed on a stretcher and carted off, had significant neck pain but movement in his arms and legs.
Safety Tyrone Carter intercepted a third Flacco pass to seal it.
The Steelers took a 13-0 lead, as Jeff Reed converted first-quarter field goals of 34 and 42 and Santonio Holmes caught a 65-yard scoring pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the second. Reed added a 46-yard field goal in the third. Roethlisberger completed 16 of 33 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown, while Flacco struggled in going 13-for-30 for 141 yards and three interceptions. The Steelers outgained the Ravens, 307-214, in total yards.
The wild-card Ravens (13-6) scored on McGahee touchdown runs of 3 yards and 1 yard, both following pass interference penalties. The first came in the second quarter, after a flag on cornerback Bryant McFadden. The second came with 9:29 remaining in the fourth, after cornerback Ike Taylor was whistled for interfering with receiver Marcus Smith in the end zone.
The Steelers will play for the Lombardi Trophy for the seventh time in franchise history. They won Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV in the 1970s and Super Bowl XL in 2006. Their only NFL Championship defeat came to the Dallas Cowboys, 27-17, in Super Bowl XXX in 1995.
The Steelers face the Cardinals on February 1, 2009 in Tampa, Florida
I will post game photos later, so be sure to check back.
I will also try to locate some interviews with Keisel after the game.
This will be Keisel’s second trip to the Superbowl! Congrats to Brett and the Steelers!
January 15, 2009
KEISEL COUNTS HIS BLESSINGS
Excerpts from Scott Brown’s article in the Tribune-Review entitled:
The scene — a smiling Keisel answered questions about Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens — stood in stark contrast to one that played out less than two months ago.
Keisel experienced as lonely a feeling as an athlete can have while sitting in an MRI machine. As pictures were taken of the left knee that he feared had betrayed him, Keisel said prayers to keep from thinking the worst: that his season had come to an end.
If the Steelers’ 35-24 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday was any indication, Keisel’s knee is better than ever.
Keisel recorded a sack against the Chargers and figured prominently in one of the game’s pivotal moments. On the only play the Chargers ran in the third quarter, Keisel batted a Philip Rivers pass into the air and linebacker Larry Foote intercepted it.
If that game bodes well for Keisel against the Ravens, so does the fact he starred the last time the Steelers played in the AFC Championship Game.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder, in fact, staged his coming-out party in the Steelers’ 34-17 win over Denver in January 2006. He sacked Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer twice.
Keisel cracked the starting lineup the following season and didn’t miss a game until this season when calf and knee injuries sidelined him for six contests.
“I know Brett is one of those guys that had a different bounce in his step when he came back from his injury,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
There is a simple reason for that: Keisel feared the worst had happened after he hurt his knee while making a tackle in the Steelers’ 27-10 win over the Bengals on Nov. 20.
“I thought right off the bat I was done for the year,” Keisel said. “I never really had leg problems at all, but when I got hit I just felt it. People always talk about a popping sensation, and I felt that. The whole ride to the hospital, I’m like, ‘It’s over.'”
To read the entire article, click here.
January 14, 2009
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Once again, the Steelers Digest player of the week is:
Brett Keisel !
From Steelers Digest:
Critical plays at critical times. Brett Keisel had four tackles, two for a loss of yardage and one for no gain. He batted a pass into the air that Larry Foote intercepted at the Steelers 21-yard line to help protect a 21-10 lead; and he sacked Philip Rivers in the fourth quarter.
Way to go Keisel!
Locker room interview:
Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, right guard Darnell Stapleton, defensive end Aaron Smith,defensive end Brett Keisel and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger discuss the upcoming AFC Championship game with the Baltimore Ravens:
To view the video click here.
January 13, 2009
LIFE IS GOOD
MiKe Prisuta, of The Pittsburgh Tribune spoke with Keisel after the Chargers game. When Brett was asked about the upcoming game against the Ravens, here is what he had to say:
“We’re in the AFC Championship Game at home. Life is good.”
To read Prisuta’s article, click here.
Keisel’s sack of Rivers:
Brett Keisel pulled down Rivers and then got up and pretended he was rowing his way down the field. “That was for Rivers,” Keisel said, grinning. “Nothing against him, but I was going down river.’
Ed Bouchette, of The Post Gazette talks about Keisel:
Keisel had the kind of game Sunday that helped convince his coaches to promote him to a starting job in 2006, when he took over for the departed Kimo von Oelhoffen. That previous game occurred in Denver in the AFC championship, when he had two sacks in a part-time role. Sunday against San Diego, Keisel had a sack, that tipped pass for an interception, two tackles for a loss and one for no gain.
…Keisel talks more about the Ravens game:
“It’s going to be very, very physical. Both teams know what’s at stake. Both teams know each other. Both teams like to run the ball and play tough, hard-nosed defense. It’s going to be a very physical game. We have a tough, tough, tough, team coming in here. They know us. We know them. It’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re one step away and we’re happy to be at home.”
Nice article on the Steelers…
Steelers emphatically prove they are the team to beat, by Jim Arkush of Pro Football Weekly.
… The Chargers produced 15 yards on 12 rushing attempts with LaDainian Tomlinson in street clothes. Steelers RB “Fast” Willie Parker went off for 146 rushing yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns.
At the end of the day that’s everything you need to know to understand why the Steelers were the only home team to win a football game on divisional playoff weekend, and only the third home squad to win in eight NFL playoff games this year.
Certainly, the wealth of talent the Steelers possess at linebacker, headlined this week by LaMarr Woodley with Best Supporting Actor nods to James Harrison and Larry Foote, and the most underrated defensive line in the league with Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel, had a great deal to do with the Steelers’ 35-24 win.
Tomlin echoed Turner’s sentiments, telling me, “They played us really tough in the first half and I’m concerned because they’re a great second-half team. I told our guys we have got to start winning the war at the line of scrimmage and we’ve got to keep the ball out of their hands. Certainly we want to run the ball but more than that we have to be more aggressive than them and control the tempo this half.”
While I haven’t been able to confirm it yet, I’m willing to bet the Steelers set a record in heeding their boss’ instructions, controlling the ball for the first 7:56 of the third quarter and extending their lead to 21-10, and an astounding 14:43 of the period. They allowed the Chargers exactly one play (a Philip Rivers pass that was tipped at the line by Keisel and intercepted by Foote) and 17 seconds time of possession. While the score might indicate otherwise, if this one wasn’t over with the Steelers up 21-10 at the end of the third quarter with the ball 3rd-and-1 at the Chargers’ 1-yard line, it certainly ended when the Steelers scored with 12:52 to go in the game to make it 28-10.
Rivers was sacked four times, twice by Woodley, once by Harrison and once by Keisel, but he was harried all day long and appeared to come up groggy after the second dumping he took from Woodley. By the time the final gun sounded this one was a good old-fashioned butt-whipping.
When I talked to Woodley after the game, he told me there’s really no competition between him and his fellow ’backers for sacks and big plays. “We really just feed off each other and are as much about setting each other up for the big hits and sacks as much as we are about making them ourselves,” Woodley said.
Watching them all afternoon and into the evening on the field and on their bench that was the one other striking image I came away from this game with.
This Steelers team seems to genuinely care about each other, and their coaches. They absolutely revere both Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, and they were pulling for each other from the opening whistle to the final gun.
Admire the upstart Cardinals, Eagles and Ravens all you want. And yes, the Steelers’ battle with Baltimore next week figures to be a bloodbath that could make the Ravens’ win over Tennessee look tame. But after watching Pittsburgh handle the Chargers, I have no doubts that of the four left standing, the Steelers are the team to beat.
To read the entire article, click here.
For Troy Polamalu fans…
January 11, 2009
KEISEL HAS BIG GAME AS STEELERS ADVANCE TO AFC CHAMPIONSHIP
Steelers 35, Chargers 24
On a weekend when home field didn’t hold much of an advantage, the Steelers were the only team to come away with a win on their own turf, defeating the San Diego Chargers 35-24 to advance to the AFC Championship game.
San Diego started the game off with a touchdown, but the Steelers came right back and scored off a punt return by OSU alumni, Santonio Holmes.
The Steelers led, 14-10, at the half, then dominated the third quarter, controlling the ball for all but 17 seconds of it.
The Steelers defense sacked Rivers four times-one of those four coming courtesy of #99.
Keisel’s big day
In yesterdays news I posted an article where Keisel said he was excited to play in what he called ‘Steeler weather’. The kind of weather where there is snow in the air and steam coming out of your mouth.
Well, that is exactly the kind of weather the game was played in today.
Brett certainly does thrive in ‘Steeler weather’ as he recorded 4 tackles, a sack, and as soon as San Diego finally got good field position in the third quarter, Keisel put a stop to their drive.
Sproles’ kickoff return provided the Chargers’ best field position since their opening drive, butRivers’ pass was tipped by defensive end Brett Keisel at the line of scrimmage and Larry Foote made a diving interception at the Pittsburgh 21.
A great game was played by the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team and coaching staff!
The Steelers will host the Baltimore Ravens, a team they beat twice this season, at Heinz Field on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m.
To view pictures of Keisel from today’s game-including one of his sack dance, click here.
I will add more as I find them so check back!
January 9, 2009
STEELERS ‘D’-FAMILY PORTRAIT
After a recent practice session, members of the Steelers’ rough and rowdy defense get together for a photo shoot.
To view parts of the shoot, click here.
The video is worth watching. The guys had a lot of fun!
To view a larger version of the picture shown above, click here.
Then just double click on the photo to see it enlarged.
From Chris Jenkins, of The San Diego Union-Tribune:
PITTSBRRRRGH — That isn’t just a dateline. It’s a weather report.
Of course, after what they’ve gone through to get here, the Chargers might not care if there were penguins and polar bears frolicking in the wind-blown snow at Heinz Field on Sunday. But there’s no denying they’re about to play their biggest game of the year in arctic gear.
Thursday was cold and snowy, but perhaps only preamble of what’s to come in Western Pennylvania this weekend. A severe winter storm is due to hit Friday and blanket the region Saturday, although the forecast calls for just a 20 percent chance of snow Sunday with temperatures in the 20s.
Another football Sunday in the life of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Just a day in the park for us,” offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. “We’ve already played five games in the snow. I can’t remember a game where we had good weather. Might’ve been the opener. Second game of the year, we had 60 mile an hour winds at Cleveland. This? Hey, we love it.”
“Steeler weather,” said defensive end Brett Keisel, born and raised in the cold of Greybull, Wyo. “It’s exciting, a great atmosphere, a little snow in the air and a little steam coming out of the mouths. That’s the things we love.”
To read the entire article, click here.
Keisel talks about Coach LeBeau:
“We genuinely come to work and think, I can’t wait to hear what he’s got to say and where we’re going to go next.”
Keisel went on to say that playing for LeBeau made him love the game more than he ever thought possible.
To read the article this excerpt was taken from, click here.
It is a great article on Coach LeBeau!
January 8, 2009
NEW PHOTOS ADDED
I know everyone has been asking for new photos, but since the Steelers did not have a game last week- there are none!
Luckily, I do have some new pictures to add though. I attended the Steelers game in Cincinnati in October. I finally got some of the pictures uploaded!
To view the pictures, click here.
There are two pages of photos-enjoy! I will get the rest uploaded soon!
I also added some photos that I took at the Ben Roethlisberger challenge back in April. They were in the old photo gallery, so I have now transferred them here.
To check them out, click here.
There are two pages of them.
The Steelers take on the Chargers at Heinz Field this Sunday! The game begins at 4:45 p.m. on CBS.
Sounds like the Steelers are having a great week of practice, with everyone being able to participate.
Go #99-Go Steelers!
January 4, 2009
PLAYOFF STAGE IS SET
Steelers vs. Chargers
The Steelers will once again take on the Chargers at Heinz Field. The game is January 11, 2009 at 4:45 p.m.
The last game they played against each other was filled with penalties, field goals, and a strange ending score of 11-10.
It’s the only time in the history of the NFL a game was decided by that score. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 308 yards, Willie Parker ran for 115 and Hines Ward caught 11 passes for 124 yards and Pittsburgh did not score a touchdown.
Troy Polamalu had a fumble recovery for a touchdown, but it was called back. Later, the NFL ruled that the touchdown should have counted.
The Steelers defense harassed Chargers QB Philip Rivers all day. Rivers had been the NFL’s ratings leader, but vs. the Steelers defense he was 15 of 26 for 164 yards, with two interceptions and a season-low rating of 44.4.
The Steelers had a rare weekend off, but will return to practice Monday. Keisel said he planned on watching this weekends playoff games:
“You can just get a little edge on them, you know: Watch them, see what they’re running, try to pick up on formations and that. But nothing too serious. No, I’m not sitting there with a notepad going: ‘All right, first down they’re going to run a lead to the left.’ But I will watch, mainly to get a look at who you could possibly be going against: See how he plays, see what type of technique he uses, things he got beat on, things he beat them on.”
Keisel talks about the playoffs:
Last year, we limped into the playoffs and weren’t playing our best ball. This year I feel like we are playing our best ball at the right time. I think he’s (Coach Tomlin) done an excellent job of understanding where his players are physically in December. December, you have to take care of your troops.”
I also want to say good luck to the Ohio State Buckeyes tomorrow night in the Fiesta Bowl! Go OSU!
January 1, 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Brett Keisel fan site would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year !
It’s the time of year when we all make resolutions. So, what is Keisel’s resolution for 2009?
“To be as good a father and husband as I can be.”
To read the resolutions of other players, click here.
Keisel on the post season:
“We feel like we can play with anyone. We’ve done a good job of putting us in position to make a run, now we just need to do it. We need to seize the opportunity and do it.”
click here .
I added some pictures from the game to the gallery. Click here to check them out! They are in the 2008 Season and Preseason album. I will keep adding pictures as I get them, so be sure to check back!
I also have received some messages from Keisel fans that I wanted to post for other fans to read:
“Hey, keep up the good work. I expect you to be giving opposing QB’s nightmares this season!”-Jackie, CA.
“Diesel, have a great season! Can’t wait to see you torturing offenses!”-J.R.-serving in Iraq.
“WAY TO GO BRETT, GREAT GAME !!!”– Tina, WV
“Way to go Steelers defense! Showing why you are the best in the business! Keisel-have a great season. We’re rooting for you in North Carolina.” Jeff, N.C.
“I am ready to get the season going and will catch all the games I can. I will wave my Terrible Towel and #99 jersey proudly!” David-serving in Iraq.
“Keisel you are a monster on the field! Keep up the good work-love watching you play. Go Steelers!” Lisa, NY.
“We all know Brett was the top fisherman on his trip with Ben! Have a great season Steelers!” Dan, WA.
I will post more during the season!
Brett certainly has fans from all over!