Graham ready to prove doubters wrong: 'Everybody thinks I'm old and slow'

Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Although Jimmy Graham was touted as the final piece of the puzzle for the Green Bay Packers' offense, the star tight end fell far short of expectations in his first season with the team.

The former Pro Bowler produced 636 yards and just two touchdowns on 55 catches with Green Bay after signing a three-year, $30-million deal to become the NFL's highest-paid tight end.

However, with a new system in place following the arrival of head coach Matt LaFleur, Graham is motivated to prove he's still among the best at his position.

"When I get those opportunities, I have to show him that I'm the biggest, fastest thing out there. I have to go up and get those grabs for him," Graham said, according to Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. "I've been focused and I'm ready to get this thing started, obviously. We have four more weeks here, but I'm about as fired up as I've ever been to go and shut a lot of people up."

While Graham, 32, had more yards in his debut year in Green Bay than the previous season with the Seattle Seahawks, it was presumed he'd flourish to a greater degree when freed from Seattle's run-first approach.

Moreover, despite the Seahawks' struggles to consistently carve out a role for him in their offense, Graham tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns (10) in the league during his final season with the NFC West club.

Green Bay failed to utilize Graham in the red zone under former head coach Mike McCarthy, but the veteran pass-catcher is confident LaFleur's offense will give him far more opportunities all over the field.

"This is an offense where they match up a lot of formations, and the run to the pass. And for me, that's all good," Graham said. "And, they like to use the tight end quite a bit. I think we've got a dynamic group of tight ends and we've got a good mix of veterans and young kids. I'm excited to see what we're going to do this year. I really am.

"Everybody thinks I'm old and slow now, so, we'll see what happens."

Comments
Graham ready to prove doubters wrong: 'Everybody thinks I'm old and slow'
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox