Brett Keisel is the crafty veteran. Insert whatever cliche comes with that; he's the old guard, or the stable force on a young defensive line.
Brett Keisel is playing some pretty good football right now as well.
The Steelers have given their defensive ends the ability to get up the field more this season than in the past when they played more of a gap-control technique. Keisel - as well as DE Cameron Heyward - is taking full advantage of that.
While sometimes that technique can draw focus off the run in draw situations - Keisel's been victimized on that a time or two - the added pressure given to quarterbacks will pay off. It hasn't as of yet, but quarterbacks are completing 55.4 percent of their passes against this defense and have averaged less than 200 yards a game passing (198.5).
Keisel will square off against Bears LT Jermon Bushrod, the off-again-on-again tackle formerly of the New Orleans Saints, was beaten early and often by Vikings DE Jared Allen in Chicago's 31-30 win over Minnesota in Week 2. Allen, one of the premier pass rushers in the league, offers a bit of a different challenge than Keisel does, but the key with this match-up is unpredictable nature of what Bushrod will see. Instead of just dealing with Allen coming with various angles and moves, Bushrod will have to deal with Keisel as well as rookie Jarvis Jones coming off that offensive left edge. Sometimes it will be both. Sometimes the Steelers will bring a defensive back.
The mental game Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will play with first-year head coach Marc Trestman will be one in which LeBeau will need to dominate. It appears as if his best card to play is Keisel, and the various things he can do with him.
Listen to "The Standard is The Standard," BTSC's weekly radio show hosted by Neal Coolong and Lance Williams:
The Standard is the Standard - Episode 3
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