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On the fast track

January 19, 2004

Colquitt-- Charles Grant doesn't get too many opportunities to make it back to his hometown of Colquitt now that he's a big time defensive end for the New Orleans Saints. So when he does come home he likes to let loose a little. "I like to hang out with my family, go fishing, I like to party a little bit and have a good time," Grant said.

The first two years of Grant's NFL career have been like a party for the former Miller County and University of Georgia star. After finishing second on the team in sacks his rookie year, Grant led the Saints in that department this season racking up ten.

His 57 tackles on the year was the seventh highest total on his team. But despite his early success, Grant says he continues to learn.

"It's a blessing. I just get better and better by watching film and studying my opponent. Just getting a feel for them and just hoping that things will be better than what they are now."

And that goes for his team too. The Saints were eliminated from playoff contention after a missed extra point against Jacksonville in week 16 cost them the game.

"We made a lot of mental mistakes last year, stuff that we have to get rid of. And if you make mental mistakes in the National Football League it's going to cost you. This year we'll work on that and just hope to improve and get better."

New Orleans finished the season at 8 and 8, with two of those wins coming against the Atlanta Falcons. A team that Grant believes has a bright future with a new head coach and a healthy Michael Vick under center.

"I like Vick. You play Michael Vick you're probably playing the best quarterback that ever played. A lot of people say that he's fast but I've been there in person. He's probably the quickest person you ever want to face. And he goes out there and plays like a kid on the playground, that's the thing I like about him. So this year I hope I get to play against him.

They've got a new coach up there, a new staff, and they're going to do what it takes to help Michael Vick win. He's an outstanding guy," Grant added.

As for himself, Grant says he raises the bar higher each year. He hopes to continue to increase his sack total, but mostly he just wants to help his team win.

"My goal is to help my team go to the playoffs. My personal goals I just keep up under my belt that way I know in the back of my mind that I have to work harder to achieve those goals."

Posted at 12:00am by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com

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