The Ohio State product was one of the highlights in the Rams’ 28-7 loss.
He finished with four tackles, including one for a loss, two passes defended and one special teams tackle. The 25-year-old was flying all over the field hitting everyone he could.
“I felt pretty good,” Grant said. “I’m just blessed that I was able to get this opportunity, first and foremost. The coaches did a good job calling plays on defense.”
The outside linebacker also drew praise from his coach.
“Yeah, Larry showed up in the game,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “He’s done some versatile things here where he’s played the ‘Will’ in the base package and he’s also been doing a little bit of that in the ‘Sub’ and ‘Nickel’ packages. Anytime you can do that, you help yourself as a linebacker, you help yourself as a team.”
Grant’s route from special teams contributor to possible starting linebacker in the NFL hasn’t been easy. He appeared in just two games during the 2008 season, when he recorded five tackles, before playing all 16 games in 2009.
He was credited with 19 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble a year ago and it didn’t look like Grant was in the Rams’ plans for 2010 when the team signed Na’il Diggs and traded for Bobby Carpenter, both outside linebackers from Ohio State, in the offseason.
But Grant worked hard in the offseason and did everything he could to prepare for his third NFL season. When training camp started, he was working with the first-team linebackers ahead of Carpenter.
“I spent a lot of time with James (Laurinaitis),” Grant said of his offseason work. “I was here. We were in Columbus together in the wintertime. As soon as we came back me and him got into the (play)book as well as we can, as early as we can, just to make sure when the season starts we are ahead of the game.”
The 6-foot-1, 251-pounder admits that things have slowed down this year.
“Being in the league a couple years, it slows down tremendously every year,” Grant said. “You get a chance to play, especially playing with the ones on defense, you get the look of the speed of the game. That’s the way we practice. We practice as fast as possible. I’ve been able to pick up on a lot of things this year.”
And don’t think for a second that California native is going to become complacent with his current status. He’s not finished.
“I’m definitely not where I want to be,” Grant said. “It’s a long process and I know that if you want to be a great player, it takes a while to get there. I’m willing to do whatever I can to become the player that I want to be.”
Nate Latsch is the publisher of GridIronGateway.com. For subscription information visit GridIronGateway.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/natelatsch