Jimmy Graham Excited to Start 2013 with Sean Payton

New Orleans, Second Quarter, 13:39 The Saints placed Graham in the left slot, with two receivers split on the outside with him. With the Falcons in a nickel personnel, the goal here is to get a smaller cornerback to match up against Graham. After the snap, Falcons nickel back Robert McClain comes on a blitz, with Graham seeing the defense in a zone. The Falcons are wary of Graham getting behind them, opting to keep the big tight end in front. Even so, it doesnt matter Graham is able to find a spot in between Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent, cornerback Dunta Robinson and safety Thomas DeCoud. Brees hit Graham with a perfect pass. DeCoud tried to bring Graham down before he reached the end zone but to no avail. Graham is too strong for a free safetyone who’s listed at 192 poundsto tackle him by himself.

Jimmy Graham ‘hungry’ to play for New Orleans Saints

No more talk of bountygate. No more talk of Sean Payton’s suspension. And no more talk of Drew Brees holding out for a bigger payday. Graham, the first TE in Saints history to have over 1,000 yards receiving, has high expectations for 2013. He’s got his quarterback for an entire offseason (Brees held out last year), and head coach Sean Payton has finally returned after his one-year bountygate-related suspension. The Saints and their fans want to forget the past. Last year, they went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Check out the video above as Graham talks about starting new in 2013 with Sean Payton at the helm. Let us know in the comments below how you think New Orleans will do in 2013.

Jimmy Graham not thinking about his contract

Graham

“It felt great,” said Hartley, who had his mother and father and “a lot” of other family and friends in attendance Sunday. “To come back here and, you know, end up putting up the final point on the board it really meant a lot; not just for me, but for everyone.” Hartley made his first game-winner since Week 2 in 2010 and his first in overtime since “Where was that? Maybe, uh ,” he said. “The (2009) NFC Championship,” a reporter reminded him. “Oh yeah, that one,” Hartley said with a laugh. PHOTOS: BEST OF NFL WEEK 16 Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (59) celebrates during the game against the Giants. Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports Broncos fan wears a mask of Peyton Manning before the start of the game against the Browns. Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushes against the 49ers during the first quarter. Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports ACardinals fan looks on during the first half against the Bears. Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake reacts to causing a fumble against the Bills. Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports Saints running back Mark Ingram celebrates a touchdown with guard Eric Olsen during the game against the Cowboys. Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports Chiefs fans hold a sign before the game against the Colts John Rieger, USA TODAY Sports Packers tight end Jermichael Finley stiff-arms Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon after catching a pass. Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate celebrates with fans after the game against the 49ers Steven Bisig, USA TODAY Sports Texans defensive end J.J.

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Graham said he’s feeling like himself again after surgery in January. “Everything’s going well,” Graham said. “I’ve been in rehab and I’ve been getting stronger. Right now, I’m almost 100 percent, so going into camp I’ll be 100 percent. And it just feels good.

Saints’ Graham says humble past leaves him happy ‘just playing’ despite lack of extension

In this photo taken Friday, July 26, 2013, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) runs through drills during NFL football training camp in Metairie, La. Graham is entering a contract year after starting as a college basketball conversion project and emerging as one of the elite young tight ends in the NFL

For a while, he didnt even have a true home, having been abandoned by his parents, though that changed when he was adopted by a volunteer youth group leader at his church. Now, however, as Graham enters his fourth season of pro football, he may be positioned for one of the larger salaries ever paid to an NFL tight end. In the final regular season game of 2011, Graham briefly broke the single-season record for yards receiving by a tight end, only to be edged out by New Englands Rob Gronkowski, who finished with 1,327 to Grahams 1,310. Hindered by a wrist injury last season, Graham saw a dip in production, but still managed a team-high 85 catches for 982 yards and nine TDs. While Graham has chosen not to make his contract an issue, he has nonetheless seen the Patriots give significant contracts with two tight ends. Gronkowski received a six-year deal worth up to $54 million. And before Aaron Hernandez was arrested on murder charges and cut by New England, he signed a five-year deal worth up to $40 million.

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I have a lot of pride in the way I play. I have a lot of pride on every down in the game. It doesnt really matter whats ahead of me. I focus on today and the next day and trying to make special plays to help this team win. Its the right attitude. Until a guy dislocates a hip. Still, Grahams not thinking about that. Im a humble kid from very humble beginnings and I feel blessed to be in the situation that I am in, Graham said. All Im going to do is go out here and play football.

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