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Ike Taylor says Brett Keisel is a 'Yinzer'

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Taylor, one of the team's most experienced players, spoke affectionately about his longtime teammate, Brett Keisel, who was placed on injured reserve on Monday.

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Steelers veteran cornerback Ike Taylor returned to the field Sunday for the first time in eight weeks following a broken forearm suffered in Week 3. But just as he came back, the Steelers lost another veteran leader, defensive end Brett Keisel, who was placed on injured reserve on Monday with a torn triceps suffered in the Steelers' 35-32 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 13.

Keisel's loss will have an impact, as Taylor said to 93.7 The Fan and BTSC's John Phillips.

"He's a Yinzer," Taylor said of his long-time teammate. He's all 4-1-2. He's a 7-2-4 guy, he lives in Cranberry. He's the Pittsburgh, blue-collar, hard-working, come-from-the-bottom kind of guy. He's is the definition of living and being a Yinzer in Pittsburgh."

"When you lose a guy like that, you lose a lot, not only from an on-the-field standpoint but from an off-the-field standpoint as well."

The Steelers will prepare without Keisel for what is essentially a win-and-in scenario for their last four games. They'll be hard-pressed to qualify for the post-season with two losses in those four games, and even losing once may put them on the outside of a very competitive AFC wild card race. They sit 1.5 games behind Cincinnati in the AFC North race, and they'll hit the road to take on the Bengals in Week 14.

"We have three AFC games out of four, so there's no room (for error)," Taylor said, referring to the fact many tiebreakers are resolved via conference wins.

"This is December football, this is when teams separate themselves," Taylor said. "When you see the Green Bays and the Denver Broncos, when you see those guys peaking around this time, you want to do the same."

Taylor has been a part of good and bad Steelers teams that have peaked both before December and during it. Fewer Steelers players each year have the experience Taylor and other veterans have had, and there's some thought to the level of concern regarding the lack of that experience.

"At 8-8, you really don't have a feel for (the playoffs) because you don't know what that playoff is," Taylor said. The veteran guys, we know what it is, but we haven't been there for a while."