Oct 212010
Eagles DE Brandon Graham

Eagles DE Brandon Graham

October 21 Philadelphia Daily News:

“The Eagles unveiled a new, secret weapon last Sunday in their never-ending quest to cover opposing tight ends: Brandon Graham.

The first-round rookie defensive end confirmed yesterday that he had short-range responsibility on Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez “with help over the top.” Gonzalez, targeted seven times, caught just three passes for 19 yards. Granted, two of them were for touchdowns, but as Graham noted, those were different coverages in which he was not involved.

Graham was tight on Gonzalez when the 10-time Pro Bowler could only manage to tip a pass headed his way, straight to Eagles corner Asante Samuel, who intercepted it to kill a second-quarter drive in the Eagles’ 31-17 victory.

“Gonzalez was a short-intermediate guy, somebody who was going to run the five-and-out, five-and-in. You’ve just got to make sure you stay over top of him,” Graham said. “I feel like I did a good job. There’s always room for improvement.”

On the pick, Graham said he knew Gonzalez was going to break to the outside, off the line.

“All the routes that they run with him [from that formation], he’s going out,” he said. “I should have jumped it, but I was scared.”

Despite his film study, Graham was fearful, he said, that Gonzalez would somehow fake outside and go inside, and be wide-open, something that just couldn’t happen, because “that’s my guy.” So he just stayed with Gonzalez, instead of guessing.

“Asante was right there, right behind me. I felt like I should have had it, but I didn’t know where the ball was [after the tip],” Graham said.”

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