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A little background diddy on Grant...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Seems like a good kid overall and someone that has been on the "radar" for a while. Check out the last sentence... gets my vote.

    http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/254432

    GREEN BAY — After listening to coach Mike McCarthy's postgame speech and before hitting the showers, Ryan Grant took one look at his BlackBerry late Monday night and realized just what he'd done.

    "I had 42 missed phone calls and 75 text messages," the Green Bay Packers' newly anointed starting running back said Wednesday, two days after rushing for 104 yards on 22 carries on "Monday Night Football" in the Packers' 19-13 overtime win at Denver.

    "My phone froze. I had to take the battery out, reset the phone with the battery in it, take the battery out (again) ..."

    The messages — "Just saying, 'Congratulations' or 'Great job' or 'Big win,' " Grant said — came from all over.

    From ex-New York Giants teammates Brandon Jacobs, Reuben Droughns and Derrick Ward, the three guys ahead of him on the depth chart prior to his Sept. 1 trade to the Packers.

    From ex-Notre Dame teammates and buddies such as Justin Tuck (who also plays for the Giants), Ryan Harris, Travis Thomas, Isaiah Gardner, Shane Walton and Tony Fisher.

    And more from "a lot of people who had my number and hadn't used it, or found my number somehow."

    Yes, such is life for Grant, who came to the Packers in one of those 6-point-font, back-of-the-sports-page transactions. The Packers gave up a 2008 sixth-round pick for a guy whose college career was "up-and down" (his words) and whose pro career had been virtually non-existent.

    On the radar

    [​IMG]

    At Notre Dame, he was a straight-A student, but his on-field performance fluctuated. As a sophomore in 2002, he started all 13 games and led the team in rushing with 1,085 yards on 261 carries, becoming only the seventh player in Notre Dame history to gain 1,000 yards in a season.

    But as a junior, he started only five games and ran for 510 yards, and then did little to impress as a senior, rushing for just 515 yards in nine starts.

    But the Packers liked him since seeing him at the 2005 NFL scouting combine — where he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 33½ inches and ran the shuttle drill in 4.14 seconds — and followed him closely throughout the preseason, sending a scout to all of the Giants' games.

    Because he'd never played in an NFL regular-season game prior to the trade, Grant technically is considered a first-year player, even though he spent 2005 on the Giants' practice squad and last season on the non-football injury list — he slipped on a nightclub dance floor and severed an artery when a glass broke and gashed his hand.

    "We were actively looking from the first preseason game on," Packers pro personnel director Reggie McKenzie said. "We had what we had on him in college, but he'd gotten hurt the preseason before, and he hadn't played at all. And, he'd played none in the regular season.

    "But (the Giants) really gave him the ball during preseason this year, so we saw him live, we evaluated tape and everybody was on board saying, 'OK, let's go after him.' We'd pinpointed a few guys, but we felt good about him. It wasn't like, 'Whoa, he's having a good preseason.' "

    A good fit

    When Grant — he finished the preseason with 90 yards on 18 carries with the Giants — arrived, rookie second-round pick Brandon Jackson was the Packers' starter, rookie seventh-round pick DeShawn Wynn had made the roster by the skin of his teeth and Vernand Morency, who entered camp as the expected starter, was still out with a knee injury suffered on the first day of practice.

    "I really didn't know too much about this team (before the trade)," admitted Grant, who took over for the injury-prone Wynn early in the second quarter Monday night and was immediately afterward named by McCarthy as the starter for Sunday's game at Kansas City. "I was excited once I knew the opportunity. Anytime an organization wants you, it feels good."

    And the Packers, in turn, feel good about him.

    Not only does Grant fit their zone-blocking scheme well — almost all of his yards came on inside and outside zone plays, according to McCarthy — and run hard and decisively, but he has considerable upside because he's still inexperienced.

    "The thing that stuck out for us was, he had size, he had speed and he had toughness. Those are three positive attributes," McKenzie said. "We were hoping he'd have a game or two like this if he got the carries. He's not polished, because he hasn't played a whole lot of ball. But until he gets 15 or so carries week-in and week-out, he's going to have that rawness to him. Hopefully, he does well. I'm pulling for him."

    All about winning

    But perhaps Grant's most attractive quality is his competitiveness.

    While he appreciated all the postgame texts and voicemails and was thrilled to have cracked the 100-yard mark, what meant the most to him was that the Packers won the game. Lots of players say that they're "all about winning" — as Grant did Wednesday — but few are as convincing.

    "I'm a team player, and I want to win. That's why we're here. I'm a much nicer person when we win," said Grant, who had rushed only six times for 27 yards entering Monday night, in part because he committed a late-game fumble in the Packers' Sept. 30 victory at Minnesota. "I'm not a jerk; I guess you'd call it a 'sore loser.' If we would've lost and I'd have done all that, it wouldn't have made a difference.

    [​IMG]

    "So it feels good to contribute in that manner, and I'm glad there was confidence from the coaches and the players to put the ball in my hands to do that, but I'm not playing this game to get 100 yards. I'm playing this game to win."
     
  2. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    this guy is very interesting to me. seems like we followed him for a while and weve had some luck with Notre Dame running backs.

    I think if he gets the carries and keeps hitting the hole as hard as he did last week he will be a nice addition. this season just keeps gettin better.

    by the way, pack93. i love the sig. that sporting news article was freakin nice.
     
  3. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Thanks.. I love that line.. even though I would never sport dreads.. they seem to fit him.
     
  4. Fuzznuts

    Fuzznuts Cheesehead

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    I was hoping Grant and Wynn could be the next Levens and Bennett....

    Maybe if Wynn gets healthy.

    It's too early to give up on him completely.

    I don't have much hope for Morency or Jackson.

    JMO.
     
  5. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Jackson reminds me of a young smaller version of Edgar Bennett.. just give him a little time.. just a guess.
     
  6. spardo62

    spardo62 Cheesehead

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    The Levens comparison is apt. His body size and type and style of running are very similar to Dorsey. If he could match the production Levens gave, he will be a real nice pick up for Thompson. Never going to be a star, but a very nice back, that will be even better as part of a 1-2 punch, with either Jackson, Wynn, Morency or someone who may be acquired next year.
     

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