When Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham played in New Orleans, his primary job was to catch passes. He was really never much of a blocker. Now with the Seahawks, Graham’s role will change dramatically in their first-run offense.
Reporting on the changes, Graham described what is in store 2015:
“(In New Orleans) the last two years, I was pretty banged up, so midway through the year I kind of stopped blocking and I just routed people up,” Graham said Monday, per the Seattle Times. “Now here I’m blocking quite a bit, and I love it. It’s very important to me to be a part of that here. That’s about 75 percent of the offense here. When you have a back like that, you want to be in there on those explosive runs, and you want to be a part of that.”
That leaves Graham to catch passes on the other 25 percent of the time, which includes long third downs. This is something he obviously excelled at when he was a member of the Saints.
“Third-and-10 is when I’m going to make my money and that’s when I’m going to have to be special for this team,” he said. “Down there in the red zone. That’s just what I’ve always done. I’m doing the most down there. There’s a lot of matchup problems and with Marshawn (Lynch) in the backfield and their safeties play too flat and I just see a ton of opportunities there.”
If you’re a fantasy football player and have owned Graham in the past, your ears are certainly bleeding at these words. During Graham’s past four starting seasons with the Saints, the beastly tight end averaged 89 receptions, 1,099 yards and 11.5 touchdowns per year. This year, if Graham is reporting accurately, we will only see about 25 percent of this production from him.
The rest of the time, we should expect the 6-foot-7 tight end to be Beast Mode’s security blanket. This should make things easy-breezy for Lynch to rack up plenty of touchdowns this season.
Of course, this could all be a clever ploy to lure opposing defenses to sleep so Graham can burn them over the top on play-action passes. Perhaps there’s not as much to worry about as it might appear on the surface for those thinking of drafting the talented tight end.
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