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A moment with ... Grant Williams, Rams right tackle

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  • A moment with ... Grant Williams, Rams right tackle


    Grant Williams broke into the NFL with the Seahawks in 1996 as a rookie free agent from Louisiana Tech. Tomorrow, he will try to help his new team -- the St. Louis Rams -- break a two-game losing streak against the Seahawks. Williams never has entered a season as "the starter," but he has started in place of some pretty good tackles -- Howard Ballard and Walter Jones with the Seahawks; Todd Light with the New England Patriots, including their Super Bowl win over the Rams after the 2001 season; and Orlando Pace and now Kyle Turley with the Rams. He took a few minutes yesterday to discuss his career.

    Q: When you got to Seattle in 1996, did you ever envision playing as long as you have?

    A: "No way. As a rookie free agent, you're kind of a long shot anyway. ... I had no idea it would go to nine years, so far, and include the chance to come out of it with a Super Bowl ring. I mean, there are guys who never get that -- like 'House' (Ballard). He played all those years and had four opportunities and didn't come up with one."

    Q: Subbing for Turley is just your latest stint replacing a standout tackle. What's that been like?

    A: "I'm definitely used to that. And being a friend of Kyle's, I knew all along his back was bothering him. We both had back trouble last season. So I kind of had an idea it could happen, so I was ready. But at the same time, I couldn't switch until Orlando (Pace, the Rams Pro Bowl left tackle) came in after training camp. But I thought it might happen with Kyle, and sure enough it did. It's just different team, same situation."

    Q: How difficult has this week been for you and the other players, with coach Mike Martz so upset about the back-to-back losses that he had a live tackling drill in practice?

    A: "I knew when the equipment guy said coach asked for a whistle that we were in a little trouble. He definitely said let's go back to kind of a grassroots deal, put the pads on and scrimmage. When things aren't going the way you want them to, what do you do? You look at fundamentals, kind of erase the chalkboard and start over."

    Q: Tomorrow, you'll line up opposite the Seahawks' Chike Okeafor. What kind of player is he?

    A: "He is a very active guy. You can tell he's a good athlete. He hops around, plays some linebacker and on both ends of the line. He's got speed to get up the field, but he works really well with his hands -- slapping and swatting -- and even gives you some bull rush in there. So he's definitely an effective player."