Keisel: Steelers more focused in practice

PITTSBURGH -- Brett Keisel didn't stage an impromptu comedy routine in front of his locker following the Steelers' first practice of the week.

It just seemed that way.

Consider the veteran defensive end's exchange with reporters when asked if he had addressed his teammates about the Steelers' slow starts, something Keisel said he planned to do following a 21-18 loss at Oakland.

"That's for me and the team," he said.

So you did talk about it?

"That's for me and the team."

What didn't you talk about?

"We didn't talk about anything."

When did that not occur?

"It might not have occurred yet."

This is great copy.

"This is an awesome sound bite, isn't it?"

With that Keisel could no longer hold back the smile and laugh he had been suppressing, and everyone clustered around him cracked up too.

OK, so Keisel is not going to say what he said -- or what he has yet to say -- to his teammates in the inner sanctum of the locker room or team meeting room.

The 12th-year veteran did provide some insight on what could rectify the slow starts that have plagued a team that has been outscored 54-19 in the first quarter this season.

"When we go out to the practice field the first period's got to be a go-to period," Keisel said. You've got to be ready to go when you step on the practice field. Hopefully that will relate to fast starts in games. We've showed what we can do when we play with a lead a little bit. It's tough to come from behind the eight ball. We've talked about it for awhile now."

The Steelers worked in pads Wednesday, and Keisel said he liked the pace of the practice, the briskness with which he and his teammates approached drills.

"There was a good sense of urgency," Keisel said. "It was a step in the right direction."

As for what he said or plans to say about starting faster in games?

Well, that's between Keisel and his teammates.