Jimmy Graham hasn’t been shy about disappointing in his first season in Green Bay.
The former Pro Bowler put up just 55 receptions for 636 yards and only two touchdowns. Playing with Aaron Rodgers, those numbers are pedestrian for a player of Graham’s ilk. The veteran tight end has had just one season with more than 60 catches and 650 yards since 2014 (his final year with the New Orleans Saints) but did have 10 TDs in 2017. Was last season a blip or is Graham backsliding towards irrelevance?
Last year’s disappointment led to the belief that Graham’s athleticism has finally dropped off, and he’s not a difference-making pass-catcher any longer.
Entering 2019, Graham is out to prove those takes are malarkey.
“When I get those opportunities, I have to show him that I’m the biggest, fastest thing out there. I have to go up and get those grabs for him,” Graham said, via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. “I’ve been focused and I’m ready to get this thing started obviously. We have four more weeks here, but I’m about as fired up as I’ve ever been to go and shut a lot of people up.”
The 32-year-old believes Matt LaFleur’s offense in Green Bay will provide him more opportunities than he garnered last year.
“This is an offense where they match up a lot of formations, and the run to the pass. And for me, that’s all good,” Graham said. “And, they like to use the tight end quite a bit. I think we’ve got a dynamic group of tight ends and we’ve got a good mix of veterans and young kids. I’m excited to see what we’re going to do this year. I really am.
“Everybody thinks I’m old and slow now, so, we’ll see what happens.”
Playing with Rodgers will give Graham the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to prove he’s not nearing the end of his career. A repeat of last season’s disappointment, however, and the Takesmen will have been correct about the TE.