Steelers won’t rule out return from Brett Keisel, James Harrison

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The Steelers have parted ways with several veteran players in the last couple of years as they’ve tried to get younger and more athletic, but they aren’t totally closing the door on the return of a couple of elder statesmen.

Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert was asked Monday about bringing defensive end Brett Keisel and linebacker James Harrison back to Pittsburgh for another season. Both players have expressed interest in another spin on the carousel and Colbert said nothing is imminent or impossible on that front.

“We haven’t eliminated anybody from consideration because we don’t know what’s going to happen before the season. Even into the season there’s been times when we’ve brought back veteran players due to injury,” Colbert said, via “If we have eliminated a player we always tell [him] don’t keep us in your thought process, if you have an opportunity don’t wait for us, something along those lines.”

While having veteran mentors for young players can be a helpful thing, the best case scenario for the Steelers defense is probably one that doesn’t include the return of Keisel, Harrison or anyone else who can remember a time when the Houston Texans weren’t in the NFL. The Steelers will be better off if young players like Stephon Tuitt and Jarvis Jones can handle roles in the rotation and they should give them a real chance to do so before turning back the clock.

29 responses to “Steelers won’t rule out return from Brett Keisel, James Harrison

  1. Good!

    I think they’ll only be back if the players replacing them fail or get hurt though. It’s tough to cut a young guy with upside for an old guy who probably won’t be around the next year. As much as I’d like to see the Beard get another year, I’d like to see the young guys succeed even more, because they’ll be succeeding for years to come.

  2. As a Bengals fan I was glad to see James on the team last year but he was not able to do what I thought he would. He was definately a great player at one time but he doesn’t make much of an impact anymore.

  3. Assuming available cap space and the players’ ability to still move (which at their ages is most assuredly questionable), either would be a solid addition, if for nothing more than depth. I’ve read that Keisel has balked at playing for the veteran’s minimum, which could make things problematic in his case.

  4. Wouldn’t mind seeing Keisel come back. He was actually pretty impressive the last couple games of the season last year. If he is healthy, he could fill a need if he doesn’t have to be a full time player.

    Harrison is done.

  5. Don’t think it’s a secret that LeBeau’s D is a bit more complicated than traditional D schemes, so despite their age, these two can serve some sort of role on this defense. Seeing Harrison’s workouts on his FB page, he’s in just as good of shape as before. Keisel is an important part of the community and it’s a shame that nothing could be done for him.

    Both would make fantastic coaches.

  6. Jack Lambert and Mean Joe are also on their sights … Soon as they get their SS benefits reduced

  7. Why would they rule them out???? Over-the-hill, washed up players is the core of they’re roster. It’s the Steeler way! 8-8 & a non-factor again.

  8. I wouldn’t mind seeing JH return as a guy you can rotate in. Harrison is still better than half of the LB’s on the roster, so it makes sense to bring him back for one more year. Jarvis has not exactly lived up to his draft status to this point so it sure would be nice to have that security blanket and mentoring that he could provide.

  9. Speaking for myself only (of course) — I would love to see DeBo and the Diesel back in Black and Gold, where they belong!

  10. We are THIN at OLB and DE — these guys are great fits for the defense we run.

    Worilds was not a lights out enforcer out there, and Jarvis had a lot of struggles. We have Carter and Moats behind them – that’s it.

    And we have Cam Heyward, who’s really come on. But after that, all we have at DE is Cam Thomas and the promising, but undeveloped Tuitt.

    This would be perfect — and the locker room and fan base love both of these guys. I say DO IT!

  11. .
    Throw the new guys to the wolves and live with the results. Truitt, Jones and Shazier are the future. The others are the past.

  12. Browns fans, I guess you have forgotten have owned you team since they came back, expect more of the same.

    Bengals fans, you have the most complete AFCN team and still haven’t won a playoff game since 1990.

    Raven fans, the teams solution to a bad WR corp is to get a guy in his twilight and fans cheer a woman beater. The offense will still struggle, Tucker and the defense will win more games then Flacco and the offense.

  13. I’ve been following all the Steelers training camp reports I can find so far, because I’m a football and Steelers junkie that way lol

    In addition to Jarvis Jones (looking MUCH stronger this year), Moats and Worilds, both Ryan Shazier (who’s looking AWESOME so far) and a finally fully healthy Sean Spence have also gotten turns at outside linebacker. When you think about the versatility the Steelers require from their players, I think the Steelers look at their linebacker situation as they have seven good ones right now: Shazier, Worilds, Moats, Jones, Spence, Timmons and last year’s rookie surprise, Vince Williams. Harrison is an unlikely signing unless there are a bunch of injuries. It’s great to have him at a last resort option though!

    Also according to the reports at Steelers training camp, Tuitt and Cam Thomas have both looked pretty good at de so far. I think Heywood is a given as a stud at de by this point. McClendon was very underrated at nose guard last year, according to the stats as well as Pro Football Focus. The Steelers will likely only keep six players on the roster, and one guy on the practice squad. In order to resign the Beard, is it worth it to cut a young promising guy like Brian Arnfelt or Daniel McCullers, and hope they make it to the practice squad? And hope they stay there? Well, I see these six guys making the team, and another young promising end, perhaps Nick Williams, making the practice squad. It’s the same deal for the Beard as with Harrison. It’s awesome to have him around if we do need him though!

    One thing that you’ve always got to count on in the NFL, no matter how hard you plan against them: Injuries. Every year a couple positions on every team just get killed by injuries, and the team’s success rides on how well they work around them. I like that at these two positions at least, the Steelers will have options. Not every team is so lucky.

    Go Steelers!

  14. They should just sign them.

    They can because always youth is overrated. The Panthers went young and will be out of contention.

    Guys who get the job done matter.

    The Steelers have to just dump Chris Carter and a youngster who does not have the five technique and noseguard versatility that three of their defensive lineman have.

    Plus, Harrison saves a roster spot because he can play rush linebacker and can count as an inside linebacker based off his play in Cincinnati last year.

  15. Bring em back as backups at the end of training camp especially “The Diesel”. Even at their age, they can still blow by the swiss cheese lines of the bungles and ratbirds.

  16. Pressure is what you feel, when you don’t know what you are doing.

    A lot of posters here must feel a lot of pressure.

    Let’s recap once again:

    72, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 84, 94, 95, 97, 01, 04, 05, 08, and 10 – that is 15 times we have been a game away from the SB! More than any other franchise.

    Keep dreaming brownies, rat birds, and bungles.


  17. Would dearly love for both James and Brett to come back. We’ve lost so many veterans in the last few years. If they can contribute and won’t create any cap problem, it would just be nice to have them on the roster for one more season.

  18. I really think these two players are really great and can give the young players encouragement to take them back to the SUPERBOWL I say it’s the way to go so let put that ball on Heniz Field and tell the Commmissioner we are ready for the best of the best and beat them with the run pass and interceptions and of course fumbles oooo yeah sack they quarterback over and over again .I want the Steelers Defense to find ways to keep our Offense on the field so the other team can see how it’s played in a Pittsburgh. Holla

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