Defensive end Brett Keisel still doesn't know where he'll play or how much he'll get on the field.
“We really didn't get into that too much. They just said, ‘We want you back,' ” said Keisel, who re-signed with the Steelers this week but did not play Thursday in Philadelphia.
Coach Mike Tomlin also said Keisel's role hasn't been finalized. But Keisel, who turns 36 next month, provides depth — and gives the Steelers options — along a relatively thin defensive line.
Keisel, who has spent his entire 12-season career in Pittsburgh, felt like he still could play when his contract expired at the end of last season. He missed all of training camp, so it's likely he'll get some snaps against Carolina on Thursday at Heinz Field.
“I've felt since about March, when I decided I still wanted to play football, that something would happen. I hoped it would be here, and for a long time ... nothing happened, nothing happened,” Keisel said. “It was kind of weird like, ‘What am I going to do now?' ”
Keisel flew to Arizona on Tuesday to discuss a possible job with the Cardinals only to return to Pittsburgh when the Steelers called.
Now that Keisel is back, defensive end Cam Thomas can be shifted inside at times to take Steve McLendon's place at nose tackle. Rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt also has someone other than an assistant coach to work with him.
“To be back and to be able to hope to help lead some of these guys and help these guys turn into pros and accountable pros, I'm excited about it,” Keisel said.
Cam Heyward already has shifted to Keisel's longtime spot at left defensive end, so the Steelers must decide whether to keep him there or move him back to right end when Keisel plays.
“We'll hammer that out as we get him up to speed in terms of game readiness,” Tomlin said. “He's in great shape.”
Ken Laird of TribLive Radio contributed to this report. Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.