Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with teammate tight end Jimmy Graham (80) following a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 42-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Since 2010, the Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham connection has emerged as one of the most dangerous duos in the National Football League. The New Orleans Saints‘ tight end has accomplished so much in such a little amount of time.
Through four and a half seasons (all with the Saints), Graham has reeled in a staggering 347 catches for 4,381 yards and 46 touchdowns. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl twice, was named First-team All-Pro in 2013, Second-team All-Pro in 2011 and was the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, also in 2011.
Jimmy is a crucial piece to the Black and Gold’s offense, and has been since New Orleans drafted him in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. While the team and Graham had their differences during this offseason’s wide receiver/tight end controversy, that didn’t change Brees’ opinion about his favorite target.
During Wednesday’s press conference, the Saints’ offensive captain had an opportunity to speak with the media about practice, the upcoming contest against the San Francisco 49ers, etc. When asked about Graham’s play, consistency and the way he’s fighting through a shoulder injury, Drew had nothing but honorable and praiseworthy things to say about the basketball player turned tight end.
“He’s a tough guy. He wants to be there for everybody. He’s the ultimate team guy. He really is,” Brees told the media. “For a guy as productive and just as much as he’s been featured over the last four or five years, I think it’d be easy for somebody on the outside to think that this is a guy who has to have, whatever, ten catches a game for over 100 and all that, but man, he’s the ultimate team guy,” he continued.
“Whatever he can do to help the team, you know, that’s what I love about him. His preparation throughout the week in order to just get himself ready, his body ready, his mind ready to play the game is pretty tremendous, so I can’t say enough about him, especially the fact that he’s a relatively young player, and yet, he’s accomplished so much, and yet, he still has this fire burning to accomplish more and be great.”
Well said, Mr. Brees. As fans, we know that Graham is an outstanding player on the field and arguably the best tight end in the league, but when it comes from the captain of the offense, a long-time veteran and one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, you know that there truly is something special about the kid.
The Saints (4-4) will host the 49ers (4-4) on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. With the Black and Gold appearing to get back on track for a playoff run, let’s see if Drew and Jimmy can work their magic and boost New Orleans past San Francisco to grab a firm lead in the NFC South.