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83-Steelers-43
08-02-2007, 01:37 AM
First Polamalu, now Keisel as Steelers seek to disguise defense
By The Associated Press
Thursday, August 2, 2007

LATROBE, Pa. - Brett Keisel is a pass-rushing defensive right end who put more pressure on the quarterback last season than any other Pittsburgh Steelers player.

At 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds, Keisel doesn't begin to resemble in size or makeup the more mobile Troy Polamalu, the Steelers' evasive strong safety.

But, to take advantage of Keisel's ability to get to the quarterback, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is experimenting with having Keisel be something of a Polamalu Part II -- a player who moves, shifts and flip-flops positions from down to down.

LeBeau, who was retained by new Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, believes Keisel can be as disruptive and deceptive as Polamalu is when he moves in from the deep secondary to line up as an outside or inside linebacker.

Think Polamalu, but in a size XXXL.

Keisel still lines up at his customary position of right defensive end but, just before the snap, he may stand up and become an outside linebacker.

At other times, Keisel may shift from one side of the line to the other immediately ahead of the snap, possibly creating overloads that offenses will find difficult to manage when they have two linemen trying to block three defenders.

"That's what training camp's for, to get comfortable with everything so it's second nature," Keisel said.

Some players find it hard to adjust from putting their hand on the ground as a defensive lineman to being upright as a linebacker, but Keisel feels comfortable doing either. His ability to play numerous positions could help transform the Steelers from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense within a season or so.

"It is fun, man," Keisel said. "I really enjoy it so far. I just hope it works and we can use it in every game. I think it can definitely cause the offense problems and hopefully it will work."

While Keisel is listed as a defensive end, LeBeau considers him to be a roving linebacker -- the Steelers' biggest linebacker since Levon Kirkland played there at nearly 300 pounds. Keisel can move for a big man and has played on special teams in the past.

The AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens used the 6-2, 270-pound Adalius Thomas in a similar role last season, but he signed with New England during the offseason.

Since LeBeau came to him with the idea, Keisel has studied how the 5-10, 207-pound Polamalu -- a Pro Bowl player each of the last three seasons -- adjusts from positioning himself near the line on one play but drops 15 yards back into coverage on the next. Keisel may occasionally drop into pass coverage himself, something not many 285-pounders do in the NFL.

"Troy is definitely the master of deception," Keisel said. "He looks like he's rushing, and he'll get back into the deep third (of the coverage), and I'm trying to learn from him and see how it goes."

With longtime starting outside linebacker Joey Porter gone after being released, the Steelers are looking at various ways to improve a pass rush that was limited to 39 sacks last season -- their third fewest in the last 15 seasons.

Porter had a team-high seven sacks last season, but Keisel was credited with pressuring the quarterback 23 times, or nearly twice as many as Porter's 12.

"Troy's still moving around, so we're both kind of doing our own little thing," Keisel said. "It's kind of neat."

Notes: Keisel is signed through 2009, so the Steelers don't risk making major changes with him only to lose him in free agency. ... The Steelers will hold the second of their two evening practices Thursday, this one at the new Chuck Noll Field at Saint Vincent College. The 1,500-seat stadium will be dedicated before the practice starts at 5:30 p.m. ... Arnold Palmer, who lives part of the year in Latrobe, will take part. ... The early start time is required because the field has no lights. Last Friday's night practice was held at Latrobe High's stadium, which has lights.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_520220.html

Preacher
08-02-2007, 02:40 AM
Wow...

2-5, 3-4, 4-3?

this will be fun to watch.

The Duke
08-02-2007, 02:52 AM
Troy and Keisel roaming around the field- Madness!!

Galax Steeler
08-02-2007, 04:55 AM
I like watching Keisel play he is a great player.

vasteeler
08-02-2007, 11:38 AM
QUOTE=The Duke;271687]Troy and Keisel roaming around the field- Madness!![/QUOTE]
totally agree

steel#1
08-02-2007, 12:15 PM
Ever since Tomlin was hired I've been waiting to see what him and Lebeau scheme up. I have a feeling that the defense is going to be really special this year. I, for one, can't wait.

SteelerWatch
08-02-2007, 01:19 PM
Tomlin is coming across as the ultimate "Thinking Man's Coach". I love that he wants to make headgames a part of his scheming.

This really does create a 2-5-4 defense, which could be really interesting -- especially with guys like Farrior and Timmons on the team, who can drop back into coverage with no problem.

Anyone else about to cry because it's not Sunday yet?

Black@Gold Forever32
08-02-2007, 02:17 PM
Yes this defense is going to be very fun and interesting to watch...I think Keisel is going to have a monster seaosn...I also seeing Woodley doing things like this in the future as well.....

HometownGal
08-02-2007, 02:58 PM
Troy and Keisel roaming around the field- Madness!!

I almost feel sorry for our opponents' O......almost. :wink02:

Keisel is a beast! Polamalu II - I like it! :thumbsup:

Steelerstrength
08-02-2007, 03:01 PM
I wonder if we will get treated with some of this on Sunday night?

Preacher
08-02-2007, 03:12 PM
I wonder if we will get treated with some of this on Sunday night?

I actually hope not. I don't want Cleveland, and our next 2 or 3 opponents to have an extra 5 weeks to figure out and understand our schemes.

Black@Gold Forever32
08-02-2007, 03:28 PM
I actually hope not. I don't want Cleveland, and our next 2 or 3 opponents to have an extra 5 weeks to figure out and understand our schemes.

The Steelers won't show their hand in the pre-season.....

fansince'76
08-02-2007, 03:34 PM
The Steelers won't show their hand in the pre-season.....

Nope, LeBeau and Arians are both going strictly vanilla in the preseason. We'll see the "kitchen sink" on both sides of the ball come out on September 9th.

Preacher
08-02-2007, 03:53 PM
Nope, LeBeau and Arians are both going strictly vanilla in the preseason. We'll see the "kitchen sink" on both sides of the ball come out on September 9th.

You know.. I don't even think we will see the kitchen sink against Cleveland... unless we start having problems with them.

MACH1
08-02-2007, 03:57 PM
What I see this weekend. A lot of Run, run, pass. :sofunny:

Preacher
08-02-2007, 04:09 PM
What I see this weekend. A lot of Run, run, pass. :sofunny:

Make that Run, run pass, run run pass, run run pass to ced... dropped ball.. whining, crying... run run pass.........

MACH1
08-02-2007, 04:10 PM
Make that Run, run pass, run run pass, run run pass to ced... dropped ball.. whining, crying... run run pass.........

:toofunny::toofunny::toofunny:

GeneralRobinson
08-02-2007, 04:19 PM
It's great that Coach Lebeau is a fantastic tactician and develops creative schemes to disguise who is blitzing. However, last year, it seemed that opposing teams were able to read our defense more effectively and keep our blitzers away from their QB. I think the mark of improvement on our defense will be how the coaches have been able to improve the techniques and skills of the rushers so that they can shed blockers even when we do not have a free rusher.

rog
08-02-2007, 04:38 PM
I wonder if Coach Lebeau would be allowed to do this with Keisel if Cowher was still here. It seems like Tomlin is kind of giving Lebeau more control of the defense.

The Duke
08-03-2007, 12:12 AM
Make that Run, run pass, run run pass, run run pass to ced... dropped ball.. whining, crying... run run pass.........

As long as no interceptions from Ben.... And Anthony Smith has got to knock someone out :smile:

Preacher
08-03-2007, 02:53 AM
I wonder if Coach Lebeau would be allowed to do this with Keisel if Cowher was still here. It seems like Tomlin is kind of giving Lebeau more control of the defense.

Yep. That was the biggest problem with Cowher... He was of the mindset that you line 'em up and smack them in the mouth...

Of course, that is why the trick plays worked so well.

mental.apparition
08-03-2007, 12:57 PM
It's great that Coach Lebeau is a fantastic tactician and develops creative schemes to disguise who is blitzing. However, last year, it seemed that opposing teams were able to read our defense more effectively and keep our blitzers away from their QB. I think the mark of improvement on our defense will be how the coaches have been able to improve the techniques and skills of the rushers so that they can shed blockers even when we do not have a free rusher.
Completely agree with this thought. I think the biggest problem with the D last year was LeBeau's scheme. Before one of you Cowher haters jumps in and blames it on BC, I'm not buying.

The defensive fundamentals and schemes were completely lacking last year. How many 10 point leads did the Steelers give up in losses last year? SD and ATL come to mind immediately.