Deke: Jimmy Graham set to continue elite status in NFL
Deke Bellavia reporting, firstname.lastname@example.org
It didn't take long for everyone to see he’s a special player. As Saints tight end Jimmy Graham enters his third season in the NFL, he stands to land a huge payday for what he has accomplished in his short time as a pro. “I just try and go out each day and work hard. I’m just trying to make the team,” said Graham.
When Graham said he was just trying to make the team, my co-host and former Saint Hokie Gajan just looked at me and smiled with a big grin! “I don’t think Jimmy Graham has to worry about making this team,” Hokie said.
Now some may think Graham was joking. But those who know him and analysts and fans who've followed #80 realize that's Jimmy being Jimmy, the humble man and player.
Graham enters his third season in the NFL after having one of the most impressive seasons in Saints and NFL history in 2011. Jimmy set a club record last season with ninety-nine receptions for 1,310-yards and eleven touchdowns.
Graham was third in the NFL in receiving yards behind Wes Welker and Roddy White and he and Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski shattered previous tight end records in 2011 as well.
But humble Jimmy knows it’s not about him. It’s about the team. He knows the Saints offense is much more than one player, “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."
Graham will more than likely get a fat paycheck very soon. Fellow tight end Rob Grnkowski signed a six-year fifty-four million dollar extension with the Patriots back in June. Now it seems Graham will be the next high profile tight end to get a big deal.
In two seasons with the Saints Graham has 142 receptions for 1,824-yards and nineteen touchdowns. And Graham averages nearly thirteen yards per reception as he enters his third season in the NFL.
Jimmy is a hard working player who credits the players around him with his success as much as he does his individual play. Graham says having a guy like Drew Brees makes all the difference in the world, "Drew Brees is a surgeon. 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.”
And for those out there who don’t think the Saints will be able to handle day to day operations without Coach Sean Payton, Jimmy says that’s certainly not the case. “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.”