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Graham Says the Saints are "Fired Up" for the Season

The Saints Pro Bowl TE spoke with the media after Thursday's practice


New Orleans Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham
Media Availability
Thursday, July 26, 2012

How did the first practice feel today?

"It felt great. Number one thing is having Drew Brees back, our leader. I feel like in each day we're going to get better. I got better. Everyone got better and hopefully we can keep taking those steps forward."

What is your assessment of Drew Brees after spending all the time away? Was he sharp?

"I can tell that he's had a lot of time to think and definitely a lot of time to work out. In the sprints he was trying to race me yesterday. So he is definitely in shape. He is definitely ready. He's also come up with some new material for inspiration so I'm excited to hear him. I'm excited to hear all of his little sayings."

Who won the race?

"I was told to never tug on superman's cape so I let him win."

Were you surprised at how well everyone has played today?

"I'm not surprised. If you look back to last year whenever we came out of the lockout and we really didn't get a chance to really work, we played really well. Had a great first day. Just like last year. I wasn't surprised. I think everyone is fired up. Everyone is ready, especially with Drew back. We're all amped up to get better. It's going to be a big year for us and we are all definitely excited."

Was it any different not having Sean Payton out there?

"It is something that we are going to have to get used to but last year we kind of went through it whenever Sean Payton went down. Pete Carmichael stepped up and he is a great play caller and it got is through a lot of good games. We had a great year with him. There is always going to be a little bit of difference but I think that everyone is going to step up and everyone is going to do a little bit more to fill that void."

You've been here three days, what is that Sean Payton might have done that hasn't been done so far?

"Nothing. I think that Joe Vitt has done a great job. He's just like Sean. He knows how this machine runs and he had the opportunity to run it last year. Pete Carmichael had the opportunity to run it last year. Everyone is going to step up. I think that everything has been the same and hopefully we can continue that. Hopefully we can grow and get better each and every day."

What do you expect to see from defenses trying to contain you?

"I don't think it is stopping one person on this team. I think it is stopping everybody. We have a great core group of guys. We have a lot of receivers, running backs, tight ends, everybody is a valuable receiver on this team so that is one of the hard things about guarding us. Drew Brees is a sergeant. He knows exactly where to put the ball. He knows exactly who is open and he knows the match up. I think last year was okay for me and hopefully I can have another one."

Did you notice any of those catches out there today, specifically the one by Lance Moore at the end of practice?

"That is Lance Romance. That is what he does on a day in and day out basis. Joe Morgan had a great catch down the sideline, his defender fell and he got to score a touchdown. We're going to keep needing those everyday. Guys are going to have to step up. Guys are going to have to prove what they have. This team is so stacked right now and there are only 53 spots. Each and every player on this team is trying to make it, including myself. We're all working hard to get better."

Lance romance, what is your nickname?

"I've been given a lot of them. The most recent was Avatar at the ESPY awards. But I'm just Jimmy, just Jimmy."

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