Jimmy Graham Defends His Blocking Ability, Or Lack There Of, Depending Who You Ask
NOLA- "Listen, man, I'm 270 pounds. I can block anybody I want to," he told 710 ESPN Seattle. "It's all about want-to. We'll see come this first Sunday."
Graham even suggested to a media member that he "could show you," which had the room laughing.
During his last two seasons with the Saints, Graham wasn't completely healthy nor did New Orleans require him to block a lot.
But with Seattle's run-first offense, becoming a blocking TE is imperative and Graham is up for the challenge.
"For me, that's really the main focus of this offseason is really to get my mind wrapped around this run game because it is a little different," Graham told 710 ESPN. "I've never been in a read-option type of system, but they also do just straight-up run the ball. So for me it's some different concepts, and their footwork is a lot different than the way I've done it. But it's exciting, something new and I think just the evolution of kinda my game and growing as a player."
Did Jimmy Graham just unintentionally tell the world one of the main reasons New Orleans felt comfortable trading him? Did he just explain why he may be getting overpaid? Listen, Jimmy Graham is one of the most unique offensive weapons in the game. There's no doubt in my mind that he will be very successful in Seattle. However, the biggest problem is not what he can do on the field, it's what he actually does on the field. Jimmy Graham CAN block. He CAN get the best of physical coverage. He CAN perform on the biggest stages the sport has to offer. No one ever said he can't. The issue is that he doesn't, or hasn't to this point. It's never been a lack of ability that hampered Jimmy Graham, it's been his lack of perseverance. I don't need Graham to give me his measurables to know that he is capable of doing anything and everything on the football field. I didn't need him to tell me that he can block anybody put in front of him. Everyone already knows that. That's why it was so frustrating watching him fail to do so the last couple of years in New Orleans.
If you want to tell me that Seattle focuses more on in-line blocking and the run game than Sean Payton's pass-happy offense does then you would be absolutely correct. However, don't tell me that Jimmy Graham sucked at physically dominating his opponents because New Orleans never asked him to. They rarely asked him to because he repeatedly showed an incompetence in doing so. Would I be surprised if he becomes a better blocking tight end with Seattle? No, not really, but that will be because he finally put his mind to it, not because Seattle magically taught him how to block better. You make it into the league based on potential. The former 3rd round pick that had but a year of football experience prior to being drafted knows that all too well. It's what you do once you get to the league that makes you what you are, and to this point Jimmy Graham has not been a successful blocker, no matter how strong and athletic he may be.
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