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  • Grant Williams maintains role in place of Pace

    Grant Williams maintains role in place of Pace
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/08/2004




    MACOMB, Ill. - Like an understudy on Broadway, Grant Williams needs to know the lead role inside and out. And yet he has to be prepared to step aside when the star shows up.

    In this case, the star is All-Pro tackle Orlando Pace. With Pace again skipping training camp because of a contract dispute, Williams is playing the same part he did last year: filling in on the left side until Pace shows up.

    Williams, 6 feet 7 and 320 pounds, says he doesn't mind the job.

    "You have to do what got you to the NFL, just work hard and do what they tell you to do and let the cards fall where they may," he said. "It'd be different if I had to give my spot up for someone who was not a quality player. But 'O' is one of the best tackles in the game, so he's got to be out there. Hopefully we'll get him in sooner rather than later so he can get some work and go from there."

    Williams' plight isn't as bleak as it might seem. He can play both tackle spots, and with right tackle Kyle Turley fearful that the reoccurrence of pain in his surgically repaired back could signal a serious condition, Williams might wind up with a starting job after all.

    That wouldn't bother coach Mike Martz.

    "This is the best he's looked since he's been here, for sure," Martz said. "He doesn't make any errors; he's a very solid player. If he's going to play, I'd be very pleased with him. I can't tell you how fortunate we are to have him here."



    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Grant Williams maintains role in place of Pace

    "This is the best he's looked since he's been here, for sure," Martz said. "He doesn't make any errors; he's a very solid player. If he's going to play, I'd be very pleased with him. I can't tell you how fortunate we are to have him here."
    Turley gets all the press, with the helmet throwing, the tattoos, the eyebrow raising comments, but take away all that, leave the talent and you've got Grant Williams. If Kyle can't (or won't) go this season, Grant will fill in just fine.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Grant Williams maintains role in place of Pace

      Agreed. I have a feeling Turley won't be back any time soon, but I'm not the least bit concerned with Grant Williams on the roster.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Grant Williams maintains role in place of Pace

        I'm actually more optimistic about having Williams than I am about signing Randall.

        Comment

        Related Topics

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        • RamWraith
          Rams are losing now to win later
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Tuesday, Aug. 31 2004

          One of the reasons for Grant Williams' improved play this preseason is that he
          is carrying around 30 fewer pounds.

          "I definitely feel like I'm moving better laterally," Williams said. "There's a
          lot less pressure on my back. I just feel better overall. The joints,
          everything, feels better."

          With that in mind, Williams is doing what he can to help teammate Chris Dishman
          fight the battle of the bulge. For instance, when Williams sees Dishman
          reaching for that extra roll at lunchtime at Rams Park ...

          "We split it," Williams joked. "We're just sharing it right now."

          Williams and Dishman are kindred spirits beyond dieting and nutrition. It is
          looking more and more like they will be opening day starters on a revamped
          offensive line. All five starters on the line were expected to return this
          season, but the depth chart changed in a hurry once camp started.

          "Just a few months ago we (thought), 'Yeah, everything should be intact,'"
          offensive guard Adam Timmerman said. "But that changed in a matter of a couple
          weeks."

          Hip problems led to the release of center Dave Wohlabaugh, who may retire.
          Continuing back problems put right tackle Kyle Turley on the injured reserve
          list, ending his season. Throw in left tackle Orlando Pace's continued absence
          in a contract impasse, and it's been a tumultuous preseason for the line.

          "Each year's different," offensive line coach John Matsko said. "The challenge
          this year was to bring a bunch of guys together - we brought two guys out of
          retirement - and develop the continuity, the unity, and the pride that you need
          to have on an offensive line. It's an ongoing process."

          The development of Dishman and Williams has helped that process. Williams has
          spent most of the preseason at left tackle, which is Pace's position. But on
          Monday and Tuesday, Williams practiced at right tackle, his position once Pace
          shows up.

          Left or right doesn't matter to Williams.

          "I've made a career out of going back and forth," said Williams, a nine-year
          NFL veteran in his third year with St. Louis. "So at this point, it's not a big
          deal."

          The big deal is that Williams has a chance to be a full-time starter for the
          first time since 1999, the last of his four seasons in Seattle. Last preseason,
          Williams did the heavy lifting at left tackle until Pace reported, suffering a
          back injury in the process. But once Pace reported, Williams returned to the
          bench.

          It looked like the same thing...
          -09-01-2004, 05:41 AM
        • Nick
          Rams are losing now to win later
          by Nick
          Rams are losing now to win later
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Tuesday, Aug. 31 2004

          One of the reasons for Grant Williams' improved play this preseason is that he
          is carrying around 30 fewer pounds.

          "I definitely feel like I'm moving better laterally," Williams said. "There's a
          lot less pressure on my back. I just feel better overall. The joints,
          everything, feels better."

          With that in mind, Williams is doing what he can to help teammate Chris Dishman
          fight the battle of the bulge. For instance, when Williams sees Dishman
          reaching for that extra roll at lunchtime at Rams Park ...

          "We split it," Williams joked. "We're just sharing it right now."

          Williams and Dishman are kindred spirits beyond dieting and nutrition. It is
          looking more and more like they will be opening day starters on a revamped
          offensive line. All five starters on the line were expected to return this
          season, but the depth chart changed in a hurry once camp started.

          "Just a few months ago we (thought), 'Yeah, everything should be intact,'"
          offensive guard Adam Timmerman said. "But that changed in a matter of a couple
          weeks."

          Hip problems led to the release of center Dave Wohlabaugh, who may retire.
          Continuing back problems put right tackle Kyle Turley on the injured reserve
          list, ending his season. Throw in left tackle Orlando Pace's continued absence
          in a contract impasse, and it's been a tumultuous preseason for the line.

          "Each year's different," offensive line coach John Matsko said. "The challenge
          this year was to bring a bunch of guys together - we brought two guys out of
          retirement - and develop the continuity, the unity, and the pride that you need
          to have on an offensive line. It's an ongoing process."

          The development of Dishman and Williams has helped that process. Williams has
          spent most of the preseason at left tackle, which is Pace's position. But on
          Monday and Tuesday, Williams practiced at right tackle, his position once Pace
          shows up.

          Left or right doesn't matter to Williams.

          "I've made a career out of going back and forth," said Williams, a nine-year
          NFL veteran in his third year with St. Louis. "So at this point, it's not a big
          deal."

          The big deal is that Williams has a chance to be a full-time starter for the
          first time since 1999, the last of his four seasons in Seattle. Last preseason,
          Williams did the heavy lifting at left tackle until Pace reported, suffering a
          back injury in the process. But once Pace reported, Williams returned to the
          bench. ...
          -08-31-2004, 11:56 PM
        • RamWraith
          A homecoming brews for Williams
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          10/06/2004


          It was Seattle that gave Grant Williams his first cup of coffee in the NFL - and his first cup of Starbucks.

          "That's fairly addictive," Williams said, speaking of the coffee brand, not the Seahawks. "That is where I got hooked on it. It tastes a little better there."

          This season, Williams is getting a taste of what it's like to be a full-time starter for the first time in his nine NFL seasons. The closest he had come previously was the 1999 season in Seattle, when he took over in Week 2 and started 15 times for coach Mike Holmgren's first Seahawks squad.

          Because of Kyle Turley's season-ending back injury, Williams has been the starter at right tackle from Game 1 for St. Louis. This far along in his career, it's obviously a pleasant development. In his two previous seasons with the Rams, Williams had only three starts - all in 2002 at left tackle when Orlando Pace was sidelined with a calf injury.

          "It has been fun to be out there," Williams said. "It's nice to be more sore on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It has been rewarding, but at the same time, I'm a team guy and if you can't win the games, it's all for naught anyway. We're 2-0 in the division and going into a big game. This is a week that means a lot."

          Williams spent his first four seasons with Seattle, after signing with the club as an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech in 1996. The Seahawks liked his size (6-7, 300 pounds), and thought he had some potential. But when he became eligible for free agency following the '99 season, retaining him wasn't a high priority for the Seahawks.

          "It was a great group of guys," Williams said. "Good character. It seemed like we were always around .500. And then the first year when Holmgren got there, we won the division and made the playoffs. Which was a huge deal for Seattle - it was the first time they'd done that in forever. So it was a good time."

          Williams signed a two-year, $1.9 million contract with New England following the 1999 season. He spent two seasons with the Patriots, earning a Super Bowl ring for their victory over the Rams, then was traded to St. Louis in August 2002.

          Williams missed the Rams' 2002 game in Seattle because of an ankle and leg injury. He played only on special teams there last season in a 24-23 Rams loss. So Sunday's game marks Williams' first game in Seattle as a starter since that '99 season.

          "It was a good four years there," Williams said. "A couple of 'O-linemen' are still there. A couple guys on defense are still there. I still know a lot of the upstairs guys. So it does mean a lot."

          It will mean a lot more for the Rams if Williams can keep Seattle defensive end Chike Okeafor away from Marc Bulger and the Rams'...
          -10-07-2004, 06:44 AM
        • RamWraith
          Where's Pace-SI
          by RamWraith
          ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Now that the curtain has fallen on right tackle Kyle Turley's season before it even began, Grant Williams and the rest of the St. Louis Rams' offensive line could find solace Monday in at least one thing: One huge distraction down, one more to go.

          In a preseason that has resembled a soap opera in terms of the Rams' blockers, the nagging question now is when, and if, five-time All-Pro left tackle Orlando Pace will end his holdout, perhaps even in time for the Rams' preseason finale Thursday at Oakland.

          Stay tuned.

          "Just from a team standpoint, it'd be nice to get what looks like would be the starting five out there for a quarter or a half against Oakland, just get some time together as a unit before we go into the season," Williams said Monday, two days after the Rams placed Turley on injured reserve because of his ailing back.

          Turley, among the NFL's steadiest linemen throughout his six seasons, started every game in 2003 after joining the Rams in an offseason trade with New Orleans.

          But when he reinjured his surgically repaired back in late July and left training camp Aug. 1 to visit doctors, coach Mike Martz _ already dealing with the no-show Pace -- had to piece together an offensive line, even luring veterans Chris Dishman and Tom Nutten out of retirement.

          Martz waited for word from Turley on the prognosis about his back. Then on Saturday -- a day after the Rams' offensive line held the Washington Redskins at bay in a 28-3 preseason victory -- Martz finally declared Turley's season was history.

          "I talked to Kyle today, and he was very vague about his plans," Martz said. When quizzed about the significance of losing Turley, he added without elaborating: "I'm happy with the guys we have."

          Turley's agent, Tom Condon, did not return telephone messages left Monday. Messages also were left with Pace's agent, Carl Poston.

          So it goes in what a Rams staffer quipped Monday was the latest in "As the World Turns," with Williams -- a nine-year veteran filling in for Pace -- perhaps playing Turley's role if Pace agrees to a one-year tender offer as the team's designated franchise player and returns.

          "It'll be nice when he reports," said Dishman, a 350-pound guard nursing a right ankle he rolled in the first quarter against the Redskins, though he went on to play the entire game. "It'd be nice to get some work in with him. But his thing is his thing, and when he comes in he comes in."

          Williams' advice to Pace: Get back sooner rather than later, certainly before the Rams' Sept. 12 opener at home against Arizona.

          "I know if I was in that situation I would want to play in the last preseason game and get ready for the season," Williams said, convinced Pace would benefit from getting some reps -- and...
          -08-30-2004, 03:07 PM
        • Guest's Avatar
          Stating the Obvious, Grant Williams is a Menace!
          by Guest
          You had to know it was only a matter of time before grant williams got bulger injured. We may have dodged a bullet if indeed the reports of the injury being only a bruise are accurate, but this was bound to happen. Its a miracle that bulger has not been killed by now.

          Williams is repeatedly beat every way imaginable. Speed rush, bull rush, Glendonn Rush, it doesnt seem to matter. As i have said for weeks, he is probably the best #3 tackle in the nfl, but with the deep patterns our offense runs, he is completely unworkable.

          The irony of course is that the play that got bulger hurt was by no means the hardest or most awkward hit he has taken. Its simply the law of averages. The more likely you get hit and slammed to the turf with a 300 plus pound guy falling on you, the more likely you are to get hurt.

          I thought the line protected very well today. The pressure came 99% over williams and sapamamliamula. Unfortunately, with tercero out for the year and sapamamliamula learing the position, williams is really the best option we have, which is a sorry situation and does not bode well for the continued health of our qb's whoever is in the game.

          I hate to beat a dead horse, but the turley injury just devasted this team from both a personnel and cap perspective. It has totally changed our offense.

          ramming speed to all

          general counsel
          -12-05-2004, 02:43 PM
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