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  • Seahawks DE downplays matchup with former team

    Seahawks DE downplays matchup with former team

    By TIM KORTE
    AP SPORTS WRITER

    KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Grant Wistrom remembers the animosity on the field between NFC West rivals Seattle and St. Louis.

    Now, it's not so clear.

    Any free agent who switches teams within the same division knows what's coming twice a year: showdowns against former teammates and endless questions about how it's going to feel.

    That's the case this week for Wistrom, who spent his first six NFL seasons with the St. Louis Rams (2-2).

    "I think everybody is making a bigger deal about this than I am," said Wistrom, who ranks second on the Seahawks (3-0) with 2 1/2 sacks. "When the opening kickoff happens, you forget about all that stuff. It's just another football team."

    Oh, but there's a little extra invested for Wistrom this week.

    Not only is he facing his former teammates, but for the first time he'll line up against the potent Rams offense directed by his old coach, Mike Martz, a man he grew to know very well.

    Martz said Wistrom's departure had "a deep, deep emotional impact. He's like one of my family, like one of my kids."

    Wistrom's reasons for leaving were sound, Martz said. Wistrom received a $33 million contract that included a $14 million signing bonus, and Martz said he believes the star defender deserves that kind of money.

    "I don't look forward to playing him," Martz said. "I've watched him on tape and I think he's really playing very well."

    Wistrom went out of his way in recent years to stand up for Martz when he felt the coach was being unfairly maligned.

    "We were pretty tight," Wistrom said. "I really appreciate coach Martz. When he was catching a lot of heat, I always stood behind him. I told him that I believed in him as a coach, and I think he receives a lot of undue criticism."

    Another unusual experience for Wistrom will be matching up against five-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace. They routinely faced off in blocking drills, but Wistrom expects this to be different.

    "It's going to be a 60-minute battle," Wistrom said. "I practiced against him for six years, but Orlando's practice speed and his game speed are two different things. I'm going to have to work."

    There's one more twist.

    Wistrom was fined $5,000 by the NFL last season for flattening Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck during the Rams' 27-22 win in St. Louis. The next day, Hasselbeck called it "a great block."

    That's ancient history, though, because Hasselbeck understands Wistrom's full-throttle approach on the field. They're buddies now, and it's not unusual to see them trading good-natured barbs in the locker room.

    "He's just a good guy," Hasselbeck said. "When times get rough, it's nice to have the good guys - guys you can count on, guys you can depend on - on your team. They lost a key guy, a leader on their team, in Grant."

    Wistrom said he came into the NFL hoping to spend his entire career in the same city. He grew up in Missouri, played college football at Nebraska and seemed to be at home in the Midwest.

    There was a time when going to Seattle would have seemed far-fetched.

    "We didn't like this team very much when I played for the Rams," he said.

    Wistrom loved living in St. Louis, and he said it was tough to leave the Rams organization. Yet since arriving in Seattle, he's learned that the Seahawks value many of the same things.

    "I can't imagine being in a better situation than I am now, being in another great city with another great organization and a bunch of teammates who I love playing with as much as I enjoyed playing with the guys in St. Louis," Wistrom said.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Seahawks DE downplays matchup with former team

    Hmm, Wistrom's pretty smart. I wouldn't want to tick the big man off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Seahawks DE downplays matchup with former team

      I miss Wistrom...you knew what you were getting from him every play...The D -line isn't the same without him... :upset:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Seahawks DE downplays matchup with former team

        Originally posted by Shadesofgrey
        you knew what you were getting from him every play
        yup......everything he had!
        Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

        Comment

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        • RamWraith
          Wistrom's Address Changes, Effort Remains
          by RamWraith
          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          In this day of free agency and big money contracts, it is rare for a player to stay in one place his entire career.

          Gone are the days of Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and John Elway, who played their entire careers in one place. Even Emmitt Smith, who was the defining player for the Dallasí dynasty of the 1990s, is playing for Arizona. The sight of someone like Michael Jordan in a Washington Wizardsí uniform will forever haunt Bullsí fans, who grew accustomed to Jordan winning championships in their black and red.

          Grant Wistrom seemed to be the kind of player who could spend his whole career in one place. The defensive end played his college football at Nebraska, and was drafted by the Rams in 1998 as the sixth pick overall. After six productive and winning seasons, Wistrom signed with the Seahawks on March 4.

          Wistrom said he always envisioned being the rare athlete to play from start to finish in the same city.

          ďI always envied the old (football) Cardinals that Iíd see around town, the guys that got to play there their whole career and got to retire there,Ē Wistrom said. ďI always wanted to be one of those guys. I donít think there couldíve been anything better, but obviously, the opportunity didnít present itself."

          ďI couldnít imagine being in a better situation than Iím in right now. Iím playing for a great organization. Iím playing for a great football team, in a city that Iím really starting to like. It would have been nice to have stayed in St. Louis, but those things donít always work out, so I couldnít imagine being happier anywhere else.Ē

          Some might ask why Wistrom would leave if he was so happy in St. Louis. If he was a free agent and had the right to choose, why wouldnít he choose to stay in a place he was so happy?

          The answer is free agency, money and a perfect opportunity. Wistrom was wanted in St. Louis as much as he wanted to stay. St. Louis wanted to keep him, but when push came to shove, Seattle made an offer that nobody else was even close to. Desperate for a leader on a young defensive line, the Seahawks were intent on making sure Wistrom didnít leave the Emerald City without putting pen to paper.

          The offer contained more numbers than Wistrom ever thought possible. He didnít leave. He signed a six-year, $33 million contract, with a $14 million signing bonus. That might seem like a lot of money for a defensive end who has never had more than 11 sacks. That kind of cash is usually reserved for the high-end pass rushers, but as Ramsí coach Mike Martz is quick to point out, Wistrom is well worth the money.

          ďSo many of these guys that get the money that Grant gets, they are pass rushers,Ē Martz said. ďThatís how they see themselves, as a specialist. Thatís not Grant. Heís the whole package, as we all know. He makes tackles, because he chases the...
          -10-08-2004, 07:11 PM
        • Nick
          Seahawks DE Wistrom out at least six weeks
          by Nick
          Seahawks DE Wistrom out at least six weeks

          KIRKLAND, Washington - The Seattle Seahawks will have to make their playoff push without defensive end Grant Wistrom.

          Coach Mike Holmegren announced Monday that Wistrom will miss up to six weeks with ligament damage in his left knee.

          Holmgren did indicate that Wistrom may be able to return for the playoffs.

          Wistrom was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 27-23 victory at Minnesota. Earlier this season, Wistrom missed four games with a broken bone in his knee.

          The Seahawks (7-6) moved into first place in the NFC West with Sunday's win, one game ahead his former team - the St. Louis Rams.

          Wistrom spent his first six seasons with the Rams before signing a six-year, $33 million deal with the Seahawks. He has 3 1/2 sacks in nine games this season.
          -12-13-2004, 09:35 PM
        • DJRamFan
          [Seahawks] Notebook: Seahawks hold breath on Lucas
          by DJRamFan
          By Josť Miguel Romero
          Seattle Times staff reporter

          E-mail this article
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          KIRKLAND ó The news on Seahawks cornerback Ken Lucas was positive yesterday, but the question of when he will play again remains.

          The answer hinges on his ability to do the most basic of things: Breathe.

          He was diagnosed with a bruised lung.

          The starter at right cornerback all season, Lucas left Sunday's game in the second quarter when he fell hard to the ground after breaking up a pass down the sideline for San Francisco's Brandon Lloyd. Lucas leapt to knock down the ball, and his chest was the first part of his body to hit the ground.

          To make matters worse, Lloyd landed on top of Lucas.

          Lucas was transported to San Francisco General Hospital after having trouble breathing. He was kept overnight for observation, then released yesterday. He returned to Seattle last night.

          "Typically, with this kind of injury, there's a 24-hour period where they have to watch the patient and make sure there's no more problems," coach Mike Holmgren said. "And Ken was doing fine. He (the doctor) equated it with someone in a car accident with the steering wheel hitting your chest and causing that sort of problem."


          Sunday

          Seattle at St. Louis, 10 a.m., Ch. 13



          Lucas was administered oxygen as he was wheeled off the field in a cart. Lucas was replaced by Kris Richard, and after the game Holmgren told reporters that Lucas had suffered a bruised chest.

          "No question about it, I was worried about him," said Richard, who spoke to Lucas yesterday morning via cell phone. "He tried to get up a couple times and fell back down. You see a guy trying to get back on his feet and falling down, and it's like, 'Ooh, wait a minute. That can't be that good.' "

          Holmgren expected Lucas to be at team headquarters tomorrow for treatment and meetings.

          "In Ken coming back to play, (the problem) won't be any sort of contact or blows here, it's his ability to breathe and get his lungs back so he can do cardiovascular type of activities," Holmgren said. "We were worried for him, prayed for him last night.

          "We have to just see how quickly he recovers and can breathe normally. That's my understanding, but we won't know for a couple of days."

          Engram, Wistrom hope to play

          Wide receiver Bobby Engram and defensive end Grant Wistrom, who have both missed the past three games with leg injuries, could be back Sunday against St. Louis.

          Both will try to practice this week. Wistrom is doubtful, Holmgren said, but Engram has a much better chance. ...
          -11-11-2004, 10:25 AM
        • RamDez
          Wistrom gets ready to face old team, and stand-in Bryce Fisher
          by RamDez
          Wistrom gets ready to face old team, and stand-in Bryce Fisher By Greg Bishop
          Seattle Times staff reporter




          KIRKLAND ó Funny how things work, lives intersecting and disconnecting, only to circle back in a way that seems impossible.

          Grant Wistrom was Midwest ethos at its best, a hard worker who stayed at home and did just that. He played high-school football in Webb City, Mo., college football at Nebraska and pro football in St. Louis.

          Then hard work met paydirt, and along came a $33 million contract, which included a $14 million signing bonus, which whisked Wistrom from his roots to Seattle and a division rival.

          And so who do the Rams replace Wistrom with? None other than Bryce Fisher, a Renton native and Seattle Prep graduate.

          And who do the Seahawks host this weekend? None other than the St. Louis Rams, Wistrom's former team, with one of his pupils manning his old position in the area in which the pupil grew up.

          Funny how things work. Although neither Fisher nor Wistrom laughed too hard.

          Said Wistrom: "You can hype it up all week long as much as you want. Everybody is making a bigger deal out of this than I am. It's just another football team, another opponent and a game we have to win."

          Said Fisher: "I expect it to be like any other road game. Except my mom will love it more."

          Wistrom knows this won't be like any other game. Too many memories involved. Too many old friends to shake hands with. Too much importance in the grand scheme of the NFC West, a division in which the Seahawks hold a 1Ĺ-game lead.

          Too much emotion, period.

          "There is a deep, deep emotional impact," St. Louis coach Mike Martz said of Wistrom leaving. "He's like one of my family, one of my kids. I just miss him. I do. I miss him."

          So does the Rams defense. Last season, St. Louis led the NFL with 46 takeaways, good for a turnover differential of plus-seven, seventh best in the NFL. The Rams, sans Wistrom, forced two turnovers in their last game, their only takeaways in their first four games, tied for last in the NFL.

          Meanwhile, the Seahawks, with Wistrom, have forced 10 turnovers, tied for fifth best in the league, for a plus-seven differential, third best in the NFL.

          "Wow," safety Aeneas Williams said. "The ability for a defensive end to make plays all over the field, almost like a linebacker, is contagious. You get big plays that are unexpected out of a defensive end being able to run and pursue. You get caused fumbles, tipped balls. I don't know if I've ever seen a defensive lineman with that kind of tenacity."

          One player can't make that much a difference. Can he?

          "You can talk about all those famous Seahawks ó the Matt Hasselbecks and so forth," ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth...
          -10-07-2004, 11:19 AM
        • RamWraith
          Was/Is Wistrom hurt???
          by RamWraith
          What do you make of this??

          Seahawks | Wistrom Not Practicing - from www.KFFL.com
          Wed, 16 Jun 2004 11:23:34 -0700

          Mike Sando, of the Tacoma News Tribune, reports Seattle Seahawks DE Grant Wistrom has not practiced in the team's final offseason minicamp workouts.
          -06-16-2004, 02:15 PM
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