Tag:Brett Keisel
Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:45 am
 

Hot Routes 2.26.11: I cry for Keisel's beard



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio thinks the previous injuries suffered by former Colts S Bob Sanders were fluky and he doesn’t judge them to be a current problem. That's good news for the free agent Sanders.
  • I’ve been meaning to mention this for a couple days, but Adam Jones – you know him better as Pacman – got probation for his role in the 2007 Las Vegas melee.
  • Titans DE Jason Babin and the Tennessee organization haven’t spoken recently. Sounds like the Titans want to wait until a new CBA is finalized before they think about a new deal with the Pro Bowler.
  • Apparently, if Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is available for the Lions with the No. 13 pick, they’d be happy to take him. If not, it’s not expected Detroit will take another CB instead.

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Posted on: February 17, 2011 5:59 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Enjoy the last few days of Keisel's beard

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In a story that makes me extremely sad, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has the news that DE Brett Keisel’s beard will not make it through the month.

Keisel’s facial hair will be shaved by celebrity barbers at the Diesel Club Lounge at a charity event in Pittsburgh on Feb 24, and as the beard goes, so do our hopes and dreams.

For Super Bowl week video of the beard in all its follicle glory, here’s what I shot during one of his media availability days. Breath it in, because the beard sadly won’t be around much longer.



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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 6, 2011 10:12 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 2:22 am
 

Rodgers leads Packers to Super Bowl win

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – The Super Bowl experience of the Steelers didn’t matter a bit to the Packers. Neither did Ben Roethlisberger’s toughness, the Pittsburgh defense’s resolve or Brett Keisel’s beard.

Green Bay wasn’t fazed by its youth, its receivers’ inability to make relatively easy catches, or the fact EVERYBODY seemed to pick the Packers to win this game (usually meaning the Steelers would run right over Green Bay). Hell, Green Bay wasn’t even fazed by the furious comeback(s) by Pittsburgh after the Packers took an 18-point lead in the second quarter.

None of it mattered.

Not when Aaron Rodgers, playing in the biggest game of his life, refused to be intimidated by a Steelers offense that never stopped scoring points and narrowing the lead he had built in the first half. Not when he led Green Bay to a 31-25 win.



The biggest drive in the biggest game of his life came after the Steelers cut the lead to 28-25 with 7:34 to play. He was sacked on first down, and on third down, LG Daryn Colledge was called for a false start penalty to make it third and 10. Rodgers’ response: a 31-yard laser to Greg Jennings for the first down to keep the clock running.

Later in the drive, he hit James Jones for a 21-yard pass, and the Packers eventually kicked the field goal. It wasn’t exactly what Rodgers (who finished 24 of 39 for 304 yards and three touchdowns) wanted, but it gave Green Bay some breathing room. Which, it turned out, was all they needed.

Despite an iffy second half on offense and despite the fact the Packers defense clearly was impacted by the loss of CB Charles Woodson, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, Green Bay managed to win its first Super Bowl since the 1996 season, returning the Lombardi Trophy to the town that Lombardi put on the map.

After grabbing a 21-3 lead in the second quarter following a Jordy Nelson touchdown catch, a Nick Collins 37-yard interception return and a Jennings touchdown pass, the Packers seemed in control of the game. No, it didn’t just seem like it. The Packers WERE in control of the game.

But the Steelers made an important score late in the second quarter when WR Hines Ward caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to cut the lead to 11 before halftime.

Despite an extra-long halftime – an intermission show, mind you, that not even Slash could save – Green Bay couldn’t retake the game’s momentum.

The Steelers forced Green Bay to punt on the first drive of the second half, and five plays later, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall completed the five-play, 50-yard drive with an eight-yard scoring run. The fact Green Bay didn’t gain a first down in the third quarter and the fact the Packers receivers couldn’t handle Rodgers’ passes didn’t bode well going into the last 15 minutes.

Until the beginning of the fourth quarter, that is, when Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett forced a fumble from Mendenhall to take possession at the Packers 45-yard line. And despite another terrible drop from Nelson, he redeemed himself with a 38-yard catch on a third down to keep the drive going.

After a Rodgers sack, he found Jennings, who had dominated Troy Polamalu on the route, in the corner of the end zone for the eight-yard score and the 11-point lead.

Rodgers, entering the postseason, had never won a playoff game. Now he’s won a Super Bowl. He might not be the best quarterback in the league. But he’s pretty damn close. And now he’s an NFL champion.

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 1:11 am
Edited on: February 6, 2011 2:53 am
 

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive roster breakdown

Posted by Will Brinson & Andy Benoit

Perhaps the most fascinating thing if you look (at a glance anyway) at Pittsburgh and Green Bay is that they've built their teams "properly." (AKA "the opposite of Dan Snyder.) They draft smart, and they sign smarter. At least that's what we're lead to believe, right?

Andy and I set out to check the roster breakdown for both teams. En route, we* managed to figure out not only where they're coming from, but what they'll do for their respective teams in the Super Bowl.

Name POS Acquired Scouting Report
Ziggy Hood
DE 
Drafted 32nd overall, 1st Round 2009 
First-round pick in ’09 has not shown drastic progress with playing time. Plays too tall to generate anchoring power; must get more physical in traffic.
Casey Hampton
NT
Drafted 19th overall, 1st Round 2001
The key to Pittsburgh’s vaunted run defense. A “325-pounder” who simply can’t be dislodged. Nimble lateral agility and surprising initial quickness give him playmaking prowess, too.
Brett Keisel
DE
Drafted 242nd overall, 7th round 2002
Long-deserved Pro Bowl honors were finally recognized this season. Far and away the most athletic 3-4 defensive end in football.
Aaron Smith
DL
Drafted 109th, 5th Round 1999
Venerated 12-year veteran hopes to play for the first time since tearing his triceps in October. If he can’t go, the forceful but somewhat sluggish Nick Eaton will continue to see action.
LaMarr Woodley
LOLB
Drafted 46th overall, 2nd Round 2007
His first and second steps are as effective as all but maybe six or seven pass-rushers in the NFL. Exerts tremendous strength whether he’s making a tackle or shedding a block.
James Farrior
LILB
8th overall, 1st Round 1997 NYJ; FA 2002
A 36-year-old whose downhill quickness suggests he’s 26. Instincts against the run are superb.
Lawrence Timmons
RILB
Drafted 15th overall, 1st Round 2007
Whoever's the 2nd most athletic ILB in football is barely a speck in this man’s rearview mirror. Instincts have improved precipitously. In short, he’s already a superstar (and maybe Pittsburgh’s best player on D).
James Harrison
ROLB
UDFA 2002 PIT; FA PIT 2004 Known for four or five illegal hits, but the thousands of legal ones he’s delivered have been just as punishing.
Larry Foote
5 LB
Drafted 128th overall, 4th Round PIT; FA, 2010
This defense does not skip a beat when he gives Farrior a breather. Is fantastic at blowing up the opponents’ lead-blocker.
Ike Taylor
CB
Drafted 125th overall, 4th Round 2003
Lanky cover artist who can operate in man or zone. If not for so many dropped interceptions over the years, he’d be regarded by many as a top 10 corner.
Troy Polamalu
SS
Drafted 16th overall, 1st round 2003
Llike the Steelers have a 12 on 11 advantage when he’s out there. The difference between him and other star defenders? 2 things: his calves (which give him NBA-caliber vertical leap and incredible closing explosiveness) and unwavering trust in his instincts.
Ryan Clark
FS UDFA, 2002, WAS; FA 2006
Hard-hitting, intelligent veteran leader who has decent range in coverage.
Bryant McFadden
CB
Drafted 62nd overall, 2nd Round 2005
If this defense has a weak spot, he’d be it. And that’s NOT to say he isn’t solid.
William Gay
NB
Drafted 170th overall, 5th round, 2007
OK when he can be a playmaker, but struggles when he has to be a play-stopper.
Ryan Mundy
SS Drafted 194th overall, 6th Round, 2008
Still learning. Didn’t make the costly mistakes this season that hounded him in ’09.

*Scouting smarts credited to Benoit. HTML and research credited to Brinson.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Keisel would consider a 'stash, loves 'Tombstone'

Posted by Will Brinson

Click here for your full CBSSports.com Super Bowl experience.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brett Keisel, pictured right in his Troy Polamalu wig, might be the most popular guy at the Super Bowl.

I'm not even kidding -- although Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers get the biggest crowds, Keisel and his beard have been a tremendous draw early in the week.

Josh talked to him on Monday about the beard and it's awesomeness, which is a must watch.

And during the media day, I caught up with Keisel to ask him if he'd ever consider going with a handlebar and if he had any endorsements lined up when and if he plans on shaving.



Need more proof that he's popular? CBSSports.com's Mark Morgan caught up with Keisel as well to discuss the furry creature living on his face.



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Posted on: January 31, 2011 9:18 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 11:45 pm
 

Steelers dispel notion they don't have Ben's back

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE 11:37 p.m. EST: Peter King has issued a clarification on Goodell's lightning quote about how not one of "two dozen" Steeler players came to Roethlisberger's defense. Goodell was referring to two dozen NFL players in general, not two dozen Steelers.

----------

FORT WORTH, TX -- Following Ben Roethlisberger's suspension to start the season, there was plenty of speculation that he wasn't the most popular person in the Steelers locker room.

On Monday, Peter King of Sports Illustrated posted in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column a quote from Roger Goodell that emphasized just how little the Steelers had Ben's back.

"Not one, not a single player, went to his defense," Goodell said after revealing he talked to "two dozen" Steelers players. "It wasn't personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, 'He won't sign my jersey.'"

Roethlisberger, asked Monday about the report, didn't necessarily dispel the notion.

"I'm not sure," Roethlisberger said. "I wasn't there. I don't know exactly what was said, so it's hard to say."

The report obviously stings for Ben, but it's far more indicative of how Steelers players perceive their quarterback, making their responses far more interesting.

However, most of the players asked seemed to indicate they felt differently than King reported, including wideout Hines Ward.



Ward wasn't the only one, though.

"I was highly upset by this whole situation," linebacker James Farrior said. "When Roger Goodell came to us in teh preseason, I think I was the guy who asked him a lot of the questions about Ben. I was pretty upset about it.

I really didn't get any answers from him that I was looking for, but I was definitely disappointed in what the verdict was and how they proceeded."

Brett Keisel, he of the most amazing beard in the world, was even more emphatic with his defense of Roethlisberger.

"I've always had Ben's back," Keisel said. "Even when everything was going on, Ben and I have had a very good relationship.

We're close friends on and off the field. I think everyone was behind him. Everyone just didn't know how to respond to all the questions and all the scrutiny."

So maybe that's the answer -- no one knew how to respond. And that's logical, too, because of the situation with which they were approached.

Goodell was asking them to provide input on a player in a very sticky situation, involving an alleged act that was so squeamish it wasn't easy to broach in the media, much less in a one-on-one conversation with the man in charge of disciplining the entire NFL.

Or maybe the members of the Steelers didn't have Ben's back when they were asked before the season. That's acceptable, even if it's a little awkward.

Because at the end of the day, he's helped the team get a shot at their third Super Bowl ring since he took over as quarterback. And that means that -- all issues of personal redemption aside -- he's rehabilitated himself as a teammate and member of the Steelers workforce.

For a team charged with winning football games, there's not much more they can really hope to expect.

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Posted on: January 31, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Keisel's beard is awe-inspiring

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

FORT WORTH, Tex. – You have to see the beard in person. That’s mandatory.

The way it moves, the way Steelers DE Brett Keisel runs his fingers through its scraggly hairs, the curl of his mustache, the way he looks like a pirate. Check the thesaurus for “wonderful,” and that’s where you’ll find all the description you’ll need.

The first 2 minutes of Keisel’s media availability today focused on the beard. And it felt COMPLETELY normal. He expected the questions. We expected him to answer with great humor. Both sides were correct in their expectations.

We asked. He answered. And it was hilarious.



“The beard is why we’re here,” Keisel said. “It’s unleashed Super Bowl powers on our whole team. There’s no other beard that can match it.”

Keisel played his college ball at BYU, where he wasn’t allowed to grow a beard. But he’s always admired the Pittsburgh Penguins squad and how they worked on their playoff beards during postseason runs. He admired their burliness.

So, after mini-camp last year, he figured he had seven months to grow the most badass beard in the NFL before the Steelers would play in the Super Bowl. Or, in his terms, he had seven months to “let it eat.” And honestly, it’s a work of art.

“I’m happy with the way this looks,” he said while grooming his four-inch* growth.

*This is an approximate figure. Nobody actually measured it, though somebody surely might at Tuesday’s Media Day.
 
He should be. Alas, the beard won’t live for much longer. After the Super Bowl is over – win or lose – he’ll shave off the beard. For Christmas, his wife presented him with a razor. Sometime soon, he’ll actually unwrap the package and go to work on his face. Like a wrecking ball to a majestic old building, there will be sadness and nostalgia.

But it has to be done. Like Neil Young sang, it’s better that the beard burns out rather than fades away.

“It’s coming off at some point,” Keisel said, with perhaps a touch of remorse. “Hopefully we’ll win, I can go home and pull the Lombardi (trophy) out of the beard for all the fans to see. I think I’ll have to whack it off or my wife might leave me. It’s been good. She’s been a great support through it all. She gets to wake up to this every morning and at least it gives her a chuckle.”

To us Monday, it gave us more. It gave us joy.

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Posted on: January 29, 2011 3:33 pm
 

Hot Routes 1.29.11: Bill Murray's a big Bears fan

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • BlackBookMag has a superb and (potentially NSFW because of language) story about Bill Murray at the Chicago Bears NFC Championship game last Sunday. Basically, a Packers fan in Chicago was cheering for his team really loudly and got shoved in the back. He turned around to find Murray cackling at him and later saying some awkward stuff. It's par for the course for Murray, but thankfully there's picture proof.
 
 
 
 
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