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Thomas Keiser Becoming Playmaker for Bolts D

Posted Oct 20, 2013

The young linebacker is making the most of his opportunity.

From tough cut to practice squad player to playmaker, the last few months have been a roller coaster ride for Thomas Keiser.

Elevated to the 53-man roster following Dwight Freeney’s season-ending quad injury, the pass rusher has shown a knack for getting after the quarterback and making big plays.

Photo Gallery: Chargers vs. Jaguars | More Photos

That was certainly the case on Sunday when number 90 had two sacks of the team’s season-high six sacks in the team’s 24-6 victory.  Keiser also came through with a clutch play on a fourth down, jumping high in the air to bat a Chad Henne pass away after penetrating the Jaguars offensive line.

“Thomas Keiser again stepped up,” Head Coach Mike McCoy said. “He had a great opportunity.  (It’s) similar to the preseason when he had 2.5 sacks in that one game.”

The past few months have been an adjustment for Keiser.  Prior to arriving in San Diego, he’d always been a defensive end in a 4-3 alignment.  In John Pagano’s defense, however, he is an outside linebacker which comes with a bevy of different responsibilities.  While it is a process getting adjusted, Keiser is beginning to come into his own and the team is reaping the rewards.

“It felt great,” he said.  “I described it as getting the monkey off my back.  I’ve got a few sacks in this league, (but) these were the first ones (this year) in the regular season.  I feel comfortable getting after that pass rush and I hope to continue on this way.”

Overall, the combination of the team’s performance coupled with his own has Keiser feeling good about where he and the Chargers are at heading into the bye.

“I’m very optimistic,” he said.  “It’s one of those things where we’re looking (ahead) where after this bye week is the second half of the season.  Right now we have an above .500 record.  We have an opportunity to get on a roll so we can do some good things with this season now moving forward.”

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