Sean Lissemore had much to adjust to after nose tackle Josh Brent’s car accident, which ended Brent’s season and resulted in the death of a teammate.
Lissemore, a third-year defensive end, had to both replace Brent in the lineup and learn a new position, on top of playing more. He had been a rotation player at defensive end.
“It was a tough situation,” Lissemore said Thursday at Valley Ranch. “It was very emotional. It was one of those things we handled as a team. For me, in my case, it was kind of like the next man up. I had to step up in a position that was necessary for the team. It wasn’t easy, all across the board.
“It affected me in a bunch of different ways. It affected obviously the fact that I had to play nose tackle. But it also affected me for the fact that he was a guy I came in with, been with him for three years now. It was challenging in a lot of different ways.”
Lissemore, who had his first sack of the season last week, has drawn praise for his play in the two games since the accident, which resulted in the death of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown and left Brent facing intoxication manslaughter charges. The Cowboys have since put Brent on the reserve non-football illness list, ending his season.
“It’s different,” Lissemore said of his new role. “I’m playing nose tackle. It’s a little bit foreign position. I’m just getting back into that a little. For me, I see it as fun. I get to go out there and really get in the groove of the game and feel it out and just play ball.”
Of his sack, which helped keep the Steelers from scoring late in regulation, he said, “I was just glad to be able to help the team when we needed it. That was all.”
-- Carlos Mendez