PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Now, as much as ever, the Steelers need solid veteran leadership after consecutive last-second road losses to two AFC cellar-dwellers. One of their most proven leaders, defensive end Brett Keisel, believes his team has pinpointed its problems.

“In situations like this, you’ve just got to work smarter, work harder, and focus on the little things. That’s what’s getting us beat: little things. If we can get those corrected, I think we’re a pretty good team,” Keisel contended after practice on the South Side Monday.

As he noted, there’s still a lot of football left. Upcoming divisional opponent Cincinnati was upset by the Browns Sunday. The Ravens, one of only three teams in the conference with a winning record, earlier today disclosed a key, season-ending tricep injury to All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis.

But both are ahead of the Steelers in the AFC North, while Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t done much to prove it has conquered the demons that haunted them away from Heinz Field.

“We still have a lot of guys in here who are ‘been there, done that’ guys,” Keisel said. “We expect those of us who have been there to step up and make…situational plays during the game that affect the outcome, and, unfortunately, we haven’t done that yet this year.”

He also commented on the unfortunate news surrounding fellow D-lineman and 2012 draftee Alameda Ta’amu, and how the team has responded:

The Steelers (2-3) meet the Bengals (3-3) at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday night at 8:20.

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