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JOESAM2002 08-12-2004 03:12 PM

LB Grant remains sidelined......
Linebacker Grant remains sidelined
Swelling in knees, missed time have Haslett concerned
Thursday, August 12, 2004
By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer
Saints coach Jim Haslett is starting to get concerned about the health of linebacker Cie Grant.

Grant, a second-year linebacker, missed practice again Wednesday and continues to experience pain and swelling in his knees.

He missed the bulk of last season with an injury to his right knee. Grant, a former Ohio State standout, was so concerned about the lingering effects of the injury that he saw a specialist in the offseason to get a second opinion.

Grant then hyper-extended his left knee a week ago and was sidelined for a handful of practices.

When he's been on the field, Grant has excelled in his bid to win the starting middle linebacker spot. Rookie Courtney Watson has taken advantage of Grant's absence to seize the inside track for the starting spot.

"I think it is a concern," Haslett said. "Only Cie Grant can tell me where he's at. If I think it's (the injury) lingering too long and goes into next week, then we'll figure out another route to go or something to do with him. I'm not really sure what it is yet."

ROSTER MOVES: The Saints waived-injured wide receiver Germane Crowell Wednesday and signed cornerback Fred Booker, a former LSU standout who was released last week. Crowell is still hampered by a recurring knee injury.

RETURN FIRE: Joe Horn responded to Philadelphia wide receiver Terrell Owens' comment in the September issue of Playboy Magazine accusing the Saints receiver of being a touchdown celebration "copycat."

Speaking to WWL-AM radio reporter Kenny Wilkerson during a pre-recorded interview for the station's Friday-night pregame report, Horn said he was not trying to imitate Owens' Sharpie celebration when he pulled out a cell phone after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants last season.

"I don't hate on T.O.," Horn said. "T.O. is T.O. I loved it when he pulled the Sharpie thing. A Sharpie and cell phone are a hundred ways different from each another. I don't see how a Sharpie can imitate a cell phone. I wasn't trying to outdo Terrell Owens."

Horn continues to insist that his stunt was an homage to his children, daughter Jhia, and son Joseph.

"I did that for my children," Horn said. "Let's get the record straight. I'm not player-hating on anybody. I love Terrell Owens. Don't come out (and say) . . . something if you don't know why I did it."

Horn declined comment Wednesday.

GLOVE STORY: Cornerback Fred Thomas credits a tip from defensive end Darren Howard for his increased interception totals. Thomas has intercepted nine passes the past two seasons after getting just one in his first six seasons.

Thomas blamed his early struggles on the gloves he wore during games. He said his habit of turning the bottom flap of the glove inside out prevented him from grasping passes when they hit his hand.

"I had the opportunities to get interceptions, but I dropped them all," Thomas said. "Darren Howard used to tease me about it, and the subject of the gloves came up. I would tuck my gloves inside out, and the (Velcro strap) was always in the palm of my hand. When the ball hit it, it would slip out. He suggested that I roll them another way, so I cut that piece out, and I haven't had any problems ever since."

BROOKS QUESTIONABLE: Haslett said starting quarterback Aaron Brooks is questionable for Friday night's preseason opener against the Jets at the Superdome. A decision won't be made on Brooks' playing status until Friday morning, Haslett said. Brooks has a strained quadriceps.

"If he's injured, and he can't move around and can't play, obviously, we're not going to put him out there," Haslett said.

SICK ROOK: Defensive end Will Smith missed practice Wednesday morning because of illness. The rookie first-round draft pick is expected to play Friday night.

"He's just sick," Haslett said. "It's that time of camp where you drink a lot of fluids. Everything you drink comes back up, and that's something you fight through. He's going to be OK."

BY THE NUMBERS: 13 -- Team-leading pass break-ups by cornerback Fakhir Brown in camp. Ashley Ambrose is second with 11.

Danno 08-12-2004 03:42 PM

LB Grant remains sidelined......

BY THE NUMBERS: 13 -- Team-leading pass break-ups by cornerback Fakhir Brown in camp. Ashley Ambrose is second with 11.
Yea but its only because the D-line is stuffing the run and applying severe pass rush pressure that the offense has no choice but to pass all day and hurry their throws. ;)

But seriously, I sure do keep hearing the name Fakhir Brown mentioned regularly.
Maybe its not just hype anymore.

[Edited on 12/8/2004 by Danno]

CheramieIII 08-12-2004 07:09 PM

LB Grant remains sidelined......
I look the Crowell Booker move. We need the CB not the WR and Crowell did\'nt appear as if he was going to do much of anything but stay hurt.

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