Wistrom Speaks

The Seattle Seahawks have inked a six year deal with former St. Louis Rams Defensive End Grant Winstrom. Here is what the newest Seahawk had to say.

DE Grant Wistrom
What brought you to Seattle first and how did it end here?
Grant: "When we started the free agency period out I sat down and talked to Tom and he gave me a list of the teams that were interested in me, and from the beginning the team that stood out as far as the opportunity to win was here. Last year I was probably the happiest guy in St. Louis when Seattle was eliminated from the playoffs because I definitely didn't want to face them again. They are definitely a team on the rise. The offense, I don't think there are many offenses in the NFL that can compare. Obviously they had their struggles on defense last year and that's why I'm here. I have never been part of a losing program and I could not go to a place that I didn't think had a chance to win each week and to compete for a Super Bowl every year. There are a lot of pieces in place here already for that to happen and I'm just another piece of the puzzle."

Q: What side will you play on?
Grant: "I'll play anywhere. Line me up at fullback, I don't really care. I'll play wherever you want me to play. But I think going in, right now after talking to Coach Rhodes I'm going to be the right defensive end. That's the way I understand it, but if something changes and I have to play left end or nose guard or whatever, I'll do whatever needs to be done."

Q: What was it like to meet Ray Rhodes.
Grant: "To be honest, I was a little bit in awe. Everybody knows what kind of defensive coordinator Coach Rhodes is and I've respected what he's done for a number of years. He always has a fast, aggressive defense and I really appreciate that. He always has guys playing hard for him as well and that's the way I think I play football. I line up on every snap with the intent to play as hard as I can on every snap I'm out there, and that's a characteristic of his defense. He talked about running a cover-two scheme which we ran in St. Louis so I'm very familiar with it and that excited me; not having to learn an entire new system and just be able to go out there and play football. He also talked about keeping it simple and trying not to over-coach and I think that's when teams have the most success. You put a game plan out there, a simple one, one that guys can get down and know it like the back of their hand and then rely on their athletic ability. Just be football players, go out there and be aggressive and make plays happen."

Q: When you were with the Rams did you ever think you were what the Seahawks were missing?
Grant:"I don't know about that. You definitely saw their offense and what they did on the field. I don't think we stopped them successfully in either game we played them this year. Obviously, you could see they were beat up on defense, losing Chad Eaton and players like that. When you're losing starters out there and you're kind of thin to begin with it makes it tough. I didn't necessarily think I could make that team better, but I'm actually good friends with Jerry Wunsch as well, and I do programs with him. Just a few weeks ago we were in Wisconsin together and Seattle wasn't even mentioned to me by Tom (agent Condon) at that point in being interested. I had no idea especially with the way the last game went, and getting to hang out with Matt Hasselbeck a little bit during the game. (laughter) I was really surprised when Tom pointed out their interest, but Jerry said we're in the market and we need a defensive end. I started to think about it, and I really couldn't imagine a better fit for me."

Grant Wistrom
: How nice is it to be done with the process two days into it?
Grant: "This is fantastic. I'm not the kind of guy who likes to drag things out. I want to get in and get my work done and I couldn't be happier with the way things have panned out. Being with a first-class organization like this, one of the better teams in the NFL right now, and a very young team that's only going to get better and better every week. To come in and be able to knock it out in the first couple days is obviously a great relief for me. Now, I'm excited, now I'm a Seahawk and looking forward to coming here in the off season and getting the workouts started, mini-camps, training camp and winning football games next year."

Q: You're changing teams within the division, how do you think it will be perceived back in St. Louis?
Grant: "Hopefully people understand. I've lived in St. Louis for six years and I gave everything I had every time I stepped on the football field there. In the community, I was doing everything I could possibly do to give back to the community so I think my time there was very productive both on and off the field. I hope people remember that, and I hope people understand that I loved St. Louis and my time there. But sometimes things change and situations change. Like I said, I don't think I could be in a better environment then I am here. I think the programs are very similar. I think Seattle is in a place St. Louis was five years ago, just beginning to turn things around. To be a part of that again is very exciting. It's a first-class organization and the two organizations are very parallel to how they're run, who their head coaches are, and from top to bottom it seems to be built with quality people. It just didn't work out for me in St. Louis this year, but I'm extremely happy with where I'm at and where I'm headed."

Q: Have you had any discussions with Hasselbeck yet?
Grant: "I'm sure it will happen. I'm going to go up to Matt and ask if he'll help me with the fine a little bit, (laughter) because it was a complete misunderstanding on my part out there on the field. I thought he was trying to cover the interception. I thought I was in the right, but apparently I wasn't. Hopefully, all will be forgiven and definitely there's a hands-off policy now."

Q: Robbie Tobeck likes that kind of stuff in a player.
Grant: "That's the way I play out there. The guy is trying to make a play, and I'm trying to do the same thing, and those things happen sometimes



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