New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham, Post Practice Media Availability, Wednesday, August 24, 2011
How have practices been in Oxnard so far?
"Practices have been good. It's great weather out here obviously and to extend camp for another week I think is paying dividends for us. Last game kind of had some bumps and we are trying to smooth out those bumps right now."
What's your reaction to the amount of people that have been out here at these practices?
"It's surprising. I didn't expect it. It seems like every day more and more people are out here cheering us on. Even kickoff return people are screaming and hollering. It's been really cool."
Is it important for you guys to get off to a fast start against the Raiders since it will be the preseason game that the starters play the most?
"I definitely think it is. This game we are really looking to start off fast. Sean Payton keeps harping on that because I think we have been slow starting and next thing you know we are off the field. This game we are really looking to start fast."
How is it working with QB Drew Brees?
"I feel like him and I definitely have a special bond. Every little route or play I am in there, he is the first one to tell me what I am doing wrong or what I need to work on to improve. Him, Sean Payton, David Thomas and Terry Malone all of them are working me on every little play. After practice, he never lets me rush inside. He always keeps me after for extra routes."
Are you allowed to say no to the extra routes?
"To him? Never. Whatever he tells me I am going to do."
What are your goals for this year?
"I am a little older as far as football goes. Last year, I had only played football for a year before I started in August. It seemed like everything was coming from every angle. Now I am more confident in what I am doing. I don't have to think as much anymore. I feel it is just me reacting more and before I would get out of the huddle and think 'What's the play?' Now, I am thinking more of what the coverage is and how I am going to beat my man. I think that is the biggest difference – my maturity in football."