Kristian: Different kind of focus for Graham
Kristian Garic reporting - Kristian@wwl.com
Entering his third season in the NFL you can see Saints tight end Jimmy Graham starting to blossom as a leader. I had a chance to talk to the all-pro pass catcher as he looks ahead to the upcoming season.
''There is a different kind of focus this off-season'' during team work outs, Graham said. He told me the guys are ''juiced up'' and explained the attitude and focus has been outstanding through the off-season conditioning program.
“This is going to be another opportunity to persevere,” Graham said of the scandals that have surrounded the Saints since March.
As we all know by now, Sean Payton won’t walk through the doors on Airline drive until March of 2013, so the team is going to be lead by the players and assistant coach Joe Vitt.
“He’s very motivating. He’s been in the league a long time and has a lot of wisdom,” Graham said of Vitt. “He knows more about football than anyone I’ve ever met.”
I’ve learned a couple of things about NFL teams and players by watching the leadership pecking order on teams. It typically starts with their play on the field, how they conduct themselves in the locker room, and how involved they are in the community. Graham has already proved he’s among the best in the league on the field, and his teammates love him. So, he’s go the first two nailed.
Graham hosted over 300 kids for his first football camp at Tulane University over the weekend. He was great with the kids and is taking a big step in giving back to the community by hosting the camp. You can expect even bigger things out of Graham this season, on and off the field.