The New Orleans Saints have the second-best tight end in the NFL in Jimmy Graham, and the only reason why the elite pass-catching TE is in second place is because Rob Gronkowski is an absolute monster and essentially blocks as well as an offensive lineman. Graham is a terrific player, and he doesn’t cease to “wow” with big plays. Last week in the Saints huge rivalry win over the Atlanta Falcons, Graham managed to catch four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in a solid game. Although it wasn’t quite the game we expected from Graham, he still played well and faced some much better than expected coverage from the Falcons linebackers.
Consistency is one of those traits that goes somewhat under-appreciated in the league today, but it’s incredibly important and is something coaches like to preach. Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked at yesterday’s press conference about what he saw out of Jimmy Graham, and he decided to focus on praising Graham’s consistency.
“I think that he has been consistent. I know that he has worked on all the details. He is still a young player. He is someone that works very hard on his trade and prepares like you would expect a professional, but I think the consistency (is important) and it’s good to see him (have it). There are a handful of players, Zach Strief is another who is in really good shape who came to camp in good shape and it’s a first time in a while for him that he has been able to go through an offseason without a lingering injury (to rehab). I think it helps a player.”
If Kellen Winslow Jr. can have a huge day against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, then Jimmy Graham should be able to have a big say on what happens tomorrow. He was the Saints most targeted player last week, and he should have even better numbers this week.