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Jimmy Graham: "I have a lot of pride in the way I play"

Posted Jul 27, 2013

Jimmy Graham says it feels great having Sean Payton back

2012 Graham Photos

New Orleans Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham
Post-Practice Media Availability
Saturday, July, 27, 2013

It was interesting watching coach Payton pull you aside after you dropped one of the balls. It’s a constant reminder to do the little things as you grow in this game right?

“Definitely. It’s day two and some of us are still out here knocking the rust off. It feels good to have Sean (Payton) back. Nothing goes unnoticed even through the walkthrough. It kind of reminded me of my rookie year when he was pulling me off to the side and consulting me if it’s good or bad. It’s great to have that.”

What has it been like for you going up against the defensive secondary?

“They are flying around. They are doing some different things. They are giving us some different looks and they are disguising things. It’s all good. Its making me better and its making us better but I'm excited to see how they are going to mix it up and confuse some quarterbacks.”

Players love to receive a long-term contract and obviously you are hoping for that in your contract, as you try your best. Is there any added pressure to continue to be better because of what lies ahead?

“Not really. I don't really think about that. I have a lot of pride in the way I play. I have a lot of pride on every down in the game. It doesn't really matter what’s ahead of me. I focus on today and the next day and trying to make special plays to help this team win.”

Does it feel good to be healthy again?

“Yes. It’s been an offseason of constant work and constant work. I feel great, I feel 100 percent, and I’m ready to go.”

When you see Aaron Hernandez, before he got in trouble, and he received the reward that he got , does that make you feel like why haven't I gotten the same thing?

“No. I’m a humble kid from very humble beginnings and I feel blessed to be in the situation that I am in. All I'm going to do is go out here and play football. I know that’s what I’m best at and I know the rest will just take care of itself.”

Jimmy Graham

I know it’s early but what do you see out of the defense so far and your enthusiasm so far under Rob Ryan?

“They are really running to (the) ball. It seems like on every catch, every catch is contested. There are truly no open guys and that’s been great to see. Even inside when we go to the blitz packages and the dog packages. They have really done some things to try and mess around with some of our protections. I know if they can do that to us then I know they will be able to confuse a lot of guys . It’s been exciting to see our defense mold and grow as well as our offense.”

Has a guy like Benjamin Watson helped in the tight end room? He has been around for a while and has played with some pretty decent quarterbacks himself. Has he given you some tips and pointers?

“I think this is his tenth year. He is an older guy but he looks like he is eighteen. He shreds it up and just his wisdom bringing that to the room (is valuable). He is a hard worker. Just (seeing) him in the weight room and me following (after) him and just trying to be like him (is something I try to do).”

He was (Tom) Brady’s go to guy for a while, sort of like you have worked with Drew here?

“He has been with some great quarterbacks and he has played for some great teams. I think him and I are going to do some special things this year.”

How would you describe your season last year?

“I think it speaks for itself with 7-9 (record). That’s behind us. For me, I’m just trying to win that first one.”

Do you feel like it was a step back or that you kind of plateaued personally?

“This is going to be my fourth year playing football ever so I still think I’m learning. Even last year, I can take the positives and that learning experience and apply it to this year. When we start winning and getting back to Saints football, it’s going to be even sweeter.”

You said in 2011 that you only want to play where (Drew) Brees plays. Are you still feeling that way two years later?

“Of course. That’s my guy. He has helped mold me. I have never caught a pass from another quarterback and I don't intend to.

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