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Sunday, August 24, 2014
Keisel working his way into football shape

By Scott Brown

PITTSBURGH -- Brett Keisel isn’t thinking about his first game even though the Pittsburgh Steelers open the regular season in two weeks.

“I’d like to get a padded practice first and go from there,” he said.

A padded practice will be Keisel’s first step toward getting into the football shape necessary for the veteran defensive end to play significant snaps -- or even start -- Sept. 7 against the visiting Browns.

Keisel re-signed with the Steelers last Wednesday, and coach Mike Tomlin said the 6-6, 285-pounder is in “great shape.” But Keisel acknowledged he has to work himself into a different kind of shape.

“The stop and go, the change of direction, stuff like that: There’s certain things you can do (in training) but really until you play the game, you’re not going to be in the type of shape you need to be to be a good, consistent player,” said Keisel, who took part in the light practice that the Steelers held this past Wednesday, the day before they played the Philadelphia Eagles. “As far as cardio and strength I feel good. It’s just getting back to my technique, making sure I’m playing with good pad level and using my hands right and those types of things that make a good defensive lineman.”

Keisel said he has enough time to get in shape, and he is hoping to get extended playing time Thursday night in the Steelers’ final preseason games against the visiting Carolina Panthers.

“But that’s up to coach (Tomlin), what he wants to do,” Keisel said.

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