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Keisel is betting on a big season for Steelers safety Troy Polamalu

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Longtime teammate Brett Keisel sees big things for the fallen former Defensive Player of the Year. A strained calf cost Polamalu several games in 2012, but Keisel sees him rebounding in a big way.

USA TODAY Sports

Always bet on 43.

Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is not only just revealing new defensive strategy for this season, he's predicting Steelers safety Troy Polamalu to get back to the form he lost over an injury-riddled 2012 campaign.

"Troy worked his tail off this offseason," Keisel told the Post-Gazette. "He looks great. We expect Troy to be Troy and go out there and do all the great things that Troy does that no one else in the league can do.

"If I was a betting man, I'd bet on 43 this year." The Steelers will need it, if they are to snap out of a two-year lull in terms of sacks and takeaways. The Steelers are among the lowest turnover-producing defenses since 2011, and are in the middle of the league with 72 sacks over that same time period.

While Polamalu was healthy and effective in 2011, his injuries largely held back a defense that prevented yards often over the second half of the year, but couldn't get the ball back to its offense.

Polamalu still has the ability to create those turnovers, and if he can, the Steelers can quickly re-establish themselves as a top turnover-producing unit.

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