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TallySaint 08-05-2005 12:18 PM

Cie Grant, TE Meier, etc...
Finally healthy, Grant making an impact

Linebacker gets some reps with first-team defense

Friday, August 05, 2005
By Jeff Duncan Times Picayune

One of the overlooked aspects of Saints training camp has been the steady, day-to-day contributions of third-year linebacker Cie Grant, who has participated in all 10 practices.

That's considerable progress for a player who has missed most of the past two seasons because of various knee injuries.

Ironically, Grant has taken advantage of minor injuries to starters James Allen and Courtney Watson to earn extended practice time with the first-team defense.

"This is really the first time I've ever really put my legs under this amount of stress," Grant said. "As long as I can keep running out there at practice, that's all that counts. And I'm not just talking about going out there and going through the motions. I want to go out there and play the way I'm capable of playing. I don't want to just be out there."

About a year ago at this time, Grant, a third-round draft pick in 2003, injured the patellar tendon in his right knee and was placed on the injured reserve list. Doctors said the injury didn't require surgery. Instead, Grant spent the year toiling through long, lonely hours of rehabilitation in the training and weight rooms. So far, his right knee has held up, despite some minor swelling.

Grant, who moved from middle linebacker to the weak side to reduce the physical toll on his body, reported to camp at 230 pounds, about 20 pounds less than last season. He said the lighter weight has lessened the wear on his knee.

"That's huge," Grant said. "It definitely took some pressure off my knee.

"I got through this with a lot of hard work, a lot of support from family and friends and a lot of prayer. When you hit rock bottom like I did, faith is all that can bring you back."

MEIER MENDING: Tight end Shad Meier underwent a minor arthroscopic procedure Tuesday afternoon to remove a torn meniscus in his left knee. Two days later, he was back in the training room, walking without a limp and performing one-legged squats. He expects the injury to sideline him for two to four weeks. The procedure was Meier's third on his left knee in his career.

"The road to recovery is week to week," said Meier, who is participating in daily four-hour rehab sessions. "I can already tell the difference though. When I did one-legged squats today the knee already felt better."

NEW ADDITION: One day after the birth of his daughter and playing on about three hours sleep, linebacker Colby Bockwoldt returned to practice. Mother Ashley and daughter Rees Cecelia are doing fine and expected to go home today, he said.

"Everybody tells you it's a life-changing experience, and it truly is," Bockwoldt said.

ETC.: NFL referee Larry Nemmers and his crew officiated practice Wednesday. They'll work both practices today and the scrimmage Saturday in Jackson, Miss. . . . Defensive tackle Howard Green (sprained right shoulder) and Watson (strained left quadriceps) sat out Thursday's practice. Green said he expects to practice today. . . . A handful of veterans, including quarterback Aaron Brooks and left tackle Wayne Gandy, practiced on a part-time basis. Coaches scheduled the rest day for every 10th practice. Brooks rested his arm during passing drills but worked in the running game. . . . The four-man New Orleans-based band Better Than Ezra was a guest of General Manager Mickey Loomis at Wednesday's night practice. Team officials have arranged for the band to sing the national anthem at the Saints' nationally televised game against the New York Jets on Nov. 27 at Giants Stadium.


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