Reporter: Larry Grant could fill a potential need at LB
By Brady Henderson
Seahawks fans might remember Larry Grant as the guy who essentially ended a Week 16 game at CenturyLink Field. Eric D. Williams of The Tacoma News Tribune sees the 49ers linebacker as one player who could be making plays next season for the Seahawks, not against them.
The Seahawks got solid play from their linebackers in 2011 but lacked depth behind starters David Hawthorne, Leroy Hill and K.J. Wright. Hill and Hawthorne are free agents, meaning Seattle could have to replace one or both of their starters along with adding players to fill backup roles.
Williams joined “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Monday and proposed Grant as an option for Seattle.
Larry Grant (54) started three games for the 49ers in 2011. (AP)
“I thought he showed some flashes of being potentially a starter in the league. That might be somebody that they look to bring in either as a guy that potentially could play middle linebacker for them or play on the outside,” Williams said. “[Grant is] a guy that made a lot of tackles, a lot of plays when Patrick Willis was down with a hamstring injury in the second half of the season.”
Grant saw most of his playing time on special teams last season but filled in admirably while middle linebacker Patrick Willis was injured, making 18 tackles in three starts. His sack and strip of Tarvaris Jackson in the final minutes of a Week 16 game sealed a win for the 49ers.
Grant, 26, was a seventh-round pick by the 49ers in 2008 but spent his first three seasons with the Rams, starting eight games in 2010. He rejoined San Francisco this season on a one-year deal.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has praised Grant’s attitude and work ethic.
“He’s not a talkative guy when it comes to being a self promoter or anything like that,” Harbaugh said via Taylor Price of 49ers.com. “He just consistently plays hard, hustles, plays physical, takes a lot of pride in his own personal performance. You see it every day from our standpoint. You expect it.”
As Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times discussed with “Brock and Salk” last week, re-signing Hill and/or Hawthorne isn’t a given.
“David Hawthorne is going to be interesting. I don’t know how much market ability he’ll have on the free-agent market,” Williams said. “He led the team in tackles for three straight seasons, he played with a sprained knee for most of the season last year and he was kind of one of those leaders on the defense.
“But they want to get faster at linebacker and they could easily slide K.J. Wright inside to take over that position — he’d probably be a cheaper alternative than bringing David back. So there’s a possibility that Hawthorne could move on.”
As Williams mentioned, Hill’s bounce-back season should generate him a decent among of interest from other teams.
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