• August 17, 2022

Brandon Graham Is Motivated To Prove He’s Not A Bust

Former number one draft pick Brandon Graham has been especially active in these OTA’s.   The third-year DE  has grabbed my eye a number of times with his quickness and explosiveness off the ball during these workouts.

Quite a few times during the part of practice where the offense takes on the defense, Graham is getting off the ball so fast, that he’s been blowing by rookie Dennis Kelly before he can get out of his stance.  The ball is snapped and Graham has been able to head straight for the quarterback as if there was no one blocking him.  Kelly, the humongous rookie offensive tackle who was drafted in the fifth round out of Purdue, doesn’t even have a chance against Graham.

This is the explosiveness that we saw from him a number of times during his rookie season and in his first training camp.  He’s got to be explosive to have any chance for fulfilling his potential.  Graham isn’t tall and has short arms when compared to other NFL defensive ends, so he can’t use the classic pass rush moves.

He’s got to be faster and more explosive than the bigger defensive ends to have any chance of being successful as an NFL pass rusher.   I’m happy to report that more than a year after having microfracture surgery, Graham has his explosiveness back.

I also think he looks powerful and capable of bull rushing offensive tackles then marching them right back into the quarterback’s face.  At his height, the bull rush is a great move.  I would like to see him add another move or two to his repertoire, maybe a nice spin move similar to Dwight Freeney.  Graham happens to be built like him.

His number 54 jersey has jumped out at me quite a few times during the workouts, when I’ve seen him explode out of his stance or in pursuit of the football.

I could see it yesterday when he turned to chase Michael Vick, who had decided to vacate the pocket and run down the right sideline on a scramble.  Graham was on him “like white on rice” and forced the speedy quarterback to use every bit of his speed to escape.

Graham knows about the shadow of Giants Pro Bowl defensive end, Jason Pierre-Paul, which he has following him around for the rest of his NFL career.   The former University of Michigan All-American has been called a bust and even accepted it himself in order to create the type of burning inside that will push him to be his best.

“All this is motivation, man,” he said yesterday after practice. “It’s hard not to pay attention to what people are saying because you hear it every day. Everything is motivation to me. Because everything was negative towards me. Because I couldn’t do nothing. I hurt myself and couldn’t play last year so I heard all the negative things you probably could hear.

“But at the same time, until you can do something about it …”

He needed a kick in the butt, so Eagles head coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman have given it to him, by stocking the roster with plenty of pass rushing defensive ends.  The Eagles already had Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Darryl Tapp, and Phillip Hunt, but they added second round pick Vinny Curry to that group.

Anybody who can count, can see that they can’t keep everybody.  Somebody has got to go.  They’ve clearly given Graham an ultimatum, put up or move on, and he’s gotten the message.  He’s also responded to the attacking style of defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who has his linemen playing a fever-pitch, even in off season workouts.

Number 54 is twenty-pounds lighter than he was a year ago and he’s motivated.  He wants to prove that there was a good reason for the Eagles to draft him in the first round a couple of picks ahead of Pierre-Paul.

“I just told myself every day to block it out as best as I could,” Graham said. “And work at the little things I needed to work to get back. And now that I’m back I’m feeling real good. And I just can’t wait.”


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  • G, what about Graham v. Herremans or Bell? Have you seen any of that? I mean, even if he didn’t drop weight and recover from his injury, Graham, a former #1 pick and not a rookie SHOULD be dominating a late round rookie project OL….

    I hope you’re right about him though, that he comes back very well and makes an impact. Just wish you had a better example them him blowing up a questionable rook

  • Admittedly, I have been down on Graham, but it would be nice to see all his potential come to fruition. I’m still not convinced he is all the way back from his injury, but after hearing the positives strides he’s making, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I believe the odd man out maybe Daryll Tapp, but they could keep him, and cut a DT instead like Mike Patterson. I like the potential dominance the OL brings this year. If Brandon Graham can add something to it, THAT WOULD BE GREAT!!

  • I think Graham will end being a decent player, not a difference maker by any stretch,but a solid NFL player… I think with about 20-25 Snaps a game, he could end up with 8-10 Sackers per Season with some takcles behind the line of Scrimmage, I don’t think he’s the 12-15 Sack a Season type of player or the type that will be a 50-60 Snap a game full-time player..
    I am curious to see how well his cardio-vascular conditioning is.. I’ve stated that during his Rookie Season, he had a real struggle staying on the field for more than 3-4 players at a time where it appeared he was gasping nad almost hyper-ventilating to get oxegyn.. I am hoping that it was his lack of conditioning,hold out during his rookie season more than a physical problem of his.. I also stated that he should have been on IR all of last season to focus in getting back to 100% and to be ready for 2012.. being on the active roster, unable to preactive much or even play much brought more pressure and hate on the guy from the Philly fans.. Having Knee Surgery in December of 2010 really made him unable to play or contribute for most of the 2011 Season.. I think physche/confidence wise, it would have been smarter to protect their big investment in him and let his get 100% healthy and ready for 2012..but fast-forward to the present, he needs to show his COaches,Teammates that he’s a NFL quality player..

  • Hey Gmcliff,
    I agree 100% on Tapp and have mentioned him in many trade scenarios leading up to the Draft.. Tapp is scheduled to earn $2.575 Million for the 2012 Season and if all he will be, is a 10-15 Snap a game rotational player, I can’t see the Eagles paying him that amount and keep him on the Roster and take snaps from the younger less expesive players who have more upside in Vinny Curry and Phillip Hunt…
    I do think he stays for about 1/2 the Camp time as the EAgles probably want to be sure about Grhahm, Curry and Hunt being contributors and off course if everyone statys healthy.. then by mid-pre-Season, therte will be a good amount of Teams who could use a quality NFL experienced DE like Tapp and who knows what Teams incur injuries at the DE Position..
    I think Tapp can bring back at least a 5th Round Draft Pick in 2013 and possibly a 4th Round PIck to a team that’s maybe desperate due to injury to other players..
    Here a few teams going into Summer Camp who have a definite need at the DE Position… Patriots,Panthers,Falcons, Vikings, Jets and even the loss of Suggs at OLB for the Ravens increases their need for a pass-rushing DE since Suggs was used a lot to rush the passer from the DE position ..
    I also see CB J Hanson being traded by Mid-Summer for 2013 Draft picks.. Hanson would probably draw from interest from Teams who need that Slot CB’s and could return a 6th Rd at best or 7th Round Draft PIck in return.
    Teams like the Lions,Vikings,Jaguars,Redskins,Colts,Panthers could all use some help at this position.. With Hanson’s 2012 Salary at $825,000, He could be a reasonably paid pick-up by a Team in need ..

  • Paul that may be another reason for him losing some weight. I’m willing to wait and see, and be positive about it. But he still has some work to do.

  • No doubt GMcliff..
    He played 260-265 IN College, came into camp around 270lbs and a little soft around the middle, and he was not in the best shape, then Eagles also wanted him to play a little DT in Passing Situations and to bulk up a bit which he did, then hurts his knee and then last knee was not a 100% with his knee or his physical shape, now fast-foward to this Off-Season with a healthy knee, he has worked out hard and is back down to 262-265lbs which is his natural playing weight..

  • Hey Paul,

    I don’t know if I would trade Hanson yet. Who would plsy the slot if Hanson got hurt? I would keep him around, Hanson isn’t as much of a financial burden as Tapp.

    5th round picks are valuable. Bobbie Massie was taken in that range this year wasn’t he? You never know who will drop, so I would take a 4th, or 5th round pick for Tapp.

    Paul, who are the potential camp casualties that the eagles could bring in to add to the roster on the OL. DL, LB, and Secondary. I like Akwasi Uwusu(sorry, I know its spelled wrong) from Dallas to play safety, or a potential replacement for Hanson in the slot.

  • All I know is thst DRC was ass in the slot last year and if a palyer is a payer..regarless of where you’re lined up, you should at least make one play.

    Everyone is talking about how well he played the last 4 games when we were all but out ofit and really I’m not looking at those games at all.

    I’m focusing on the first 12..As far as the slot goes we’ve seen the best Hanson have to give and that’s not good enough..plug in Boykin to get a sure tackler and playmaker on the field now.

    We’ll go 7-9 this year.

  • Graham is ass….Andy thought he was getting another
    freeney or Dumervil…

    He’s garbage and will go down as another wasted first round pick the Eagles moved up to pick.

    When you draft a guy you must really look at the upside and JPP had all the measurables that if coached right leads to a dominant player.

    Now, maybe the Eagfes lacked confidence in their line coach and wanted a player with more finished tools at the colege level, but this is shaking out to be a devasting draft Graham and Allen came out of.

    One because the starting safety Earl Thomas was right there for the taking, and second we chose an undersized projected 3-4 outside linebacker over a freak of nature in JPP, who helped our division rival win a championship.

    Salt in the Womb.


    You want to put this pick on Banner also?

    Hell, you might as well dump all your bad choices on the paid scapegoat.

  • To Gmcliff,
    I don’t beleive the Eagles , since they are $15 Million under the Cap have no real issues with keeping Tapp or Hanson and I don’t believe they would trade either one until they feel confident in the play of the younger players..
    For Tapp at the DE position If Graham,Curry, and Hunt all play well in Camp, then there really isn’t a Roster Spot availalbe for Tapp ..
    Same at slot CB, if Boykin,Lindley or Brandon Hughes look great in camp, then maybe Hanson becomes a valuable trade bait for someone

    Now the Eagles will need to spend about $12.5 of this $15 Million of Cap Space that they presently have all Teams must spend or be at 97.5% of the Salary Cap limit so expect some Contract Extensions to Maclin, Kelce to be announced by the end of Summer Camp so some of this $$ will count this year towards the Cap .. I think the Eagles will see how DRC plays in real games that count during the regular Season before making him an offer.

    As far as Veteran Players that could be brought in really depends…
    If the Eagles Stay Healthy, then I am not sure if there are any dire needs for them to updgrade.. I could see them addiing a Safety and a RB come midway thru SUmmer Camp if the Eagles feel that the current young players are not ready and that’s about it.
    Now if the Eagles incur some injuries to WR, OL, QB, TE, Safety then that changes things considerably, but I think the Eagles have enough depth along their DL & LB postions to be able to sustain some injuries…

  • Songs is ass

  • Paul, Lindley isn’t even worth naming as part of that rotation of CB’s; He’s not going to make this team….Brandon Hughes perhaps, but please, c’mon stop it with Lindley.

    This is one year they have a very nice rotation of players at every position except LB; Although improved, they are basically the same rotation of players with the exception of 2 players, with one played on the wrong side of the line. Kendricks should be playing on the weakside. Our back up in the middle FOR NOW, is stinkin Casey Matthews. If DeMeco gets hurt is there anyone that is confident he can step in and not get run over, He is definitely not a MLB. Juan Castillo, is stupid, still dreaming he can play that position……stop it, cut him already! We will need another option to back up DeMeco, so I hope there is a cap casualty or two at that position from some other team. ….Jon Beason would be nice………

  • schill – in this topic – we most definitely agree –

    GM Cliff – remember our second rounder Kendricks was I think a MLB at Cal – they Bears moved him around and he blitzed from the outside –

    can Beason play special teams? you have a dude that was at one point the highest paid MLB in the league a pro bowler and you want to sign him to play backup and special teams – or you want to move him to OLB?

  • Beason has had 2 knee Surgeries and a torn Achilles making him miss 3 of the last 4 Seasons.. He is probably not an everydown LB any longer which is a shame for he was a Patrick WIllis type of Stud LB. SInce the PAnthers Drafted Luke Kuechly, I would not be surprised to see beason moved to giev th Panthers some Salary Cap Relief space.. Panthers have James Anderson at WIll Spot and Kuechley could even play this Season at SAM while leaving Beason at MLB which would be a pretty darn good LB Corps..

    To GM Cliff,
    I think Chaney would play MLB if Ryans were to get hurt.. I see Matthews as the back-up to Kenricks at the SAM spot more so as the #2 MLB behind Ryans.. I also think Demecco Ryans with be a 1 year player for the Eagles adn gone after the 2012 Season unless he players really well this year (which I hope he does) but if he doesn’t or has injury issues, then I see Kendricks being moved to the MLB in 2013 and the Eagles bringing in another SAM Lb via Free-Agnecy or Draft come next year.. But let’s seee how Ryans play, if he’s 100% Healthy, I believe he would play too well for the Eagles to let him go, but if he’s only 85%-90% and becomes a 2 Down LB, then he’s a goner..

  • @ Navy- Yes Navy, he isn’t the same player he was in the past, so he is a viable candidate to be a cap casualty. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind playing with the Eagles, who are in a position to win a championship, as a starter or a cog.

  • Yeah Paul, he should be the option, but on the Eagles official depth chart Matthews is, which is a major mistake. But I agree Chaney should be the back up plan.

    Navy thats cool they moved him around in college, and BTW, I do think he is athletic enough to play any LB Position, but that doesn’t mean he can do the same in the NFL. He is probably better suited to play the weakside where he can blitz, and cover the RB coming out of the backfield.

  • PM and GM – good stuff – hoping we can get two to three years out of this crew – would be nice to have abit of continuity –

    GMC – hey if Beason would go for it.. why not – that’s how they brought Trott back.

  • GMCliff,
    I do believe Kendricks would be best sutied for the WILL spot also, but I do believe that the EWagles PHilosophy is to get their 3 best LB’s on the field at the same time regardless of what we call the positions.. I do believe that a Starting Corps of Ryans,Ryans,Rolle with Back-ups of Chaney,Matthews,Clyton or Jordan is a defintie updgrade over last years group.. Anyone know how this Monte SImmons from the 49ers is looking or LB Greg Lloyd Jr.. Did these 2 players have any chance to maybe unseat a Jordan,Clayton,Fokou as that 6th LB… Monte Simmons is 6-3 228lbs and have the body length to probably put on another 10 Lbs withing a year or so.. I have not seen or heard anything on him, He could be a real sleeper nad his strength was speed and getting to the QB.. not sure if he’s a fit with the Eagles Scheme.. Has anyone heard on how Monte Simmons has players, picked up the ssytem so far during these OTA’s.. ..

  • To GmCliff,
    Another DB i forgot about to challenge Hanson for that Slot CB is undrafted
    free-agent Cliff Harris, at 5-11 180lbs and cat-like quickness, he could very well be that 6th CB on the Roster where he can play both outside and inside..
    I believe Asmo,DRV and Marsh are all outside CB’s where Hanson,Boykin,Lindley are strictly Slot CB’s and probably Brandon Hughes and Cliff Harris as players who can do both which probably gives them a nice chance to make the final 53 man Roster due to their versatility and Harris can also contribute in the return game.. ( I would say hanson and LIndley are the odd-players out from the CB Corp

    Asmo,DRC,Marsh,Boykin,Hughes & Harris as the CB Corp
    Trade J Hanson for a 6th Round Draft Pick in 2013 and release Lindley
    If they try to stash Harris on the practice Squad, some other Team will scoop him up

  • Paul, this is why I wanted them to draft Trumaine Johnson, and or Josh Norman. Remember, Cliff Harris hasn’t played football since he was suspended off the team. BTW, I think he is flat out talented, but if you don’t use, it you start to lose it. He already has missed a lot of the mini camp to focus on graduation.

    I hope they can find a Special teams spot for him, he’s talented, but this is the NFL, and he has to earn a spot. Brandon Hughes is basically a shoe in at this point, unless someone comes out of left field.

    I’m just brainstorming Big Navy, about Beason. I just know we cant have Matthews playing the middle. I’m sure there will be someone who will be released/cut, and we as fans will scream for the Eagles to sign.

  • Simmons is a question mark for me ; I have nothing about him. I know he was a DE in college. I don’t know what he can do in coverage to play the strongside.

  • gm – keep storming boss – I like it.. as I said – we got Trotter back – bad kness (couldn;t pass a physical so no one else wanted him), vet minimum to play special teams – look how that turned out!

    as for CBs – I think we keep 5 Asmo, DCR, Marsh, Boyin and Hughes.. Harris goes to PS (he may well get snaked) I am figuring 10 DL, 5 CBs, 4 S and 6 LBs…

  • I remember GMCliff,
    I think the SL Rams got Trumaine Johnson who I think may end up being an All-Pro in 2-3 Years time at CB, I also think he could have Played Safety too and has the size 6-2 215 lbs and is actually a DB who likes and seeks out contact.. ..
    I think the Eagles will kee6 DB’s

    Defense (26 total) 10 DL, 6 LB’s 6 CB’s and 4 Safeties
    Offense (24 total 3 QB,3 RB,1 FB, 2 TE,5 WR, 10 OL (or 6 WR & 9 OL)
    Special Teams (3) K, P and Long Snapper

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