Brandon Graham

Posted: October 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 46 Comments »

Brandon Graham had his rookie season ruined by a torn ACL.  The Eagles wisely showed patience this summer and left him on the PUP list, which meant that Graham could work out, but not practice.

That changes today.  Graham will be out on the practice field.  The Eagles then have 3 weeks to decide whether to put him on IR or add him to the roster.

Andy Reid said that this week will be Graham’s version of Lehigh.  This is his first chance to do actual football activities since his injury in December.  We have to keep our expectations realistic.  Graham will be rusty physically and in terms of football stuff.  He has to get used to getting hit again.  He has to get used to hitting other guys.

Graham wants to play Sunday night.  The Eagles are going to take it slow.  They can’t fully evaluate him until later in the week.  Today will be the first practice.  Tuesday is an off day.  Graham will then practice on Wednesday and Thursday.  The team has to see how he looks in the 3 practices and they also have to find out how his body reacts.  Is his knee sore?  Going from workouts to a game in the span of a week might be asking too much.

I expect the Eagles to think big picture here.  They remain very high on Graham.  Remember that Jim Washburn coveted him in the 2010 draft.  He thinks Brandon can excel in his system (as do I). Graham would become the 5th DE.  He would take the place of Phillip Hunt in the rotation.

I assume that Trent Cole will be back on the field this week.  That moves Tapp back to backup RDE.  Jason Babin and Juqua Parker have the left side under control.  I’d love Graham to get JP’s snaps.  Juqua still isn’t close to 100 percent from his ankle injury.  He can function, but hasn’t shown much burst.

The reporters who have gone to practice have watched Graham working out on his own throughout the season.  They have mentioned that he looked pretty good.  That’s encouraging, but it is only one step in his recovery.  The real test is how Graham handles football practice.  His knee will be tested this week.  The Eagles will evaluate him at the end of the week and will move accordingly.

It won’t surprise me if they wait another week before making a decision.  Again, think long term.   Don’t rush Graham back.  You’ve got 3 weeks.  Make a decision you can live with.  And the decision could be that putting him on IR is the way to go.  We know guys can struggle when coming off ACLs.  Stewart Bradley wasn’t close to 100% last year.  Now here’s the crazy part to that.  His problems were more mental than phsyical.  He actually ran and moved well, but you could see that he didn’t trust his knee.  And he had a full year to get healthy.

Graham has the right attitude, but talking a good game and then actually doing the right stuff on the field are two different things.  I hope he’s the exception and not the rule.  I’d love him to play well this week and come right back to the team.  The key is making sure he’s truly ready and we’re not using rose-colored glasses.


  • Anonymous

    And the fact that he also had microfracture surgery should make the Birds doubly cautious.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHVR5EZERRCZSD77DMKWAEEPLA Steve H

    Welcome back Graham, heres hoping that he hasn’t lost much due to the type of surgery he had.

    It’s Cowboys week! some random thoughts.

    I’m not too worried about Demarco Murray and the running game. I watched a few plays from the Rams game and I probably could have gone the distance on a few of those runs. The Rams effort was really poor. Watch the replay of his first run from behind. Every single Rams defender was blocked out of the play. That being said we have struggled with the run for a lot of the year so far so its not a lock that we’ll handle it well, but thats more about us being bad than the Cowboys running game being really good.

    This is a really intruiging Eagles Cowboys matchup I think. Are we going to keep our edge or will we get complacent again after a win? How good are the Cowboys anyhow? Is Tony Romo going to implode again? Lots of interesting angles added to an inherently interesting game.

    The timing of our bye week was really good this year. We have some star guys coming back from injuries, our bruised and battered QB gets to heal a little, and we have an extra week to prepare for our most hated rival. Couldn’t have asked for it to come at a better time really.

    Dez Bryant looks like a beast, but you can see that he’s got the same issues a lot of big ego guys have. I think he’s the next Terrell Owens in that regard, great talent (more phyiscally gifted than T.O. for sure) but he really lets his frustration show when he’s not getting the ball. I wonder how long it will be before he’s considered a locker room distraction. Really makes you appreciate top flight recievers who aren’t that way, like Andre and Calvin Johnson. They know they’ll get their touches no need to throw a hissy fit when its not happening.

    Speaking of T.O. he recently tried to kill himself again, but he thinks teams are going to come knocking for his services? I don’t wish any ill on the guy despite the way he submarined our 2005 season, I hope he gets some professional help and finds some happiness.

    And lastly, the Saints last night dropped 62 points on the Colts. They weren’t even trying. By halftime they were already foregoing any real effort to get into the endzone. If they had really been trying they probably could have hung 80 or more on them. When Tom Brady went out in the first game in 2008 the Patriots still went 11-5 and only missed the playoffs because it was a fluke year where somehow 11-5 didn’t net them a wildcard spot. When the Colts don’t have Peyton Manning they are possibly the worst team in the entire NFL. This has to do with roster talent and coaching, in which I believe the Colts are inferior to the Patriots in both regards. Does anyone still wonder why Manning is a 4 time MVP? He single handedly turns the Colts from this putrid mess into a perennial superbowl contender, a team that hasn’t had less than 10 wins in a season in a decade. I hope this will put an end to the “Peyton Manning is overrated” argument, but I know that it won’t.

    • http://twitter.com/ProtoTyler Tyler Phillips

      Murray strikes me as more of a flash in the pan type deal. I think he will be solid and may be better than Fragile Felix, but he’s never gonna be an elite back.

      Honestly its an insult(to TO) to compare Dez to TO. Dez has something in the realm of 5 second half catches all year. Dez is behind every other young NFC E WR, production wise, at a similar point in their careers. He is not a beast in the slightest. Crappy Route running and conditioning. Injury prone. Too many Drops. Needs to be more consistent before even considering mentioning him in the same breath as those guys you mentioned.

      Also, this season should get Caldwell fired. It proves how valuable Manning is and how worthless Caldwell is. i wouldn’t want him coaching a Pop Warner team. Add Polian in there too. This team is awful and he built it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      Watched some 1st and 10 today… Skip Bayless is not high on Murray. When the ultimate cowgirl lover can’t believe in his ability to break loose against the Eagles… well that tells me something. I don’t follow college ball very closely, I take the lazy route and let Tommy do what he does so well. Hearing the way Skip talked about Murray’s time in Oklahoma makes me think he won’t ever develop into a special back in the NFL, more likely just a good backup. It seems most folks are on the bandwagon that the STL game was an anomaly, and not something we should expect to see this Sunday.

      Don’t forget, we just got done holding the redskins to 28 yards on the ground. I am ready for this to be a continuation of the turning point that started in that game.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think anyone can really say anything with any confidence about Murray at this point. You can’t deny that he had a quality game yesterday. We are talking about a franchise record for rushing yards in a game on a team who has had both Dorsett and Smith as RBs. Having said that, the Rams have been awful all season and yesterday, they did nothing to change that perception. On top of that, one game does not prove a guys career. Jerome Harrison had a 286 yard game in the past and never turned into a perennial pro bowler. I think we will just have to wait and see how the Eagles handle Murray and if yesterday was just a flash in the pan.

      As for Manning, I am curious to know how much better the Colts would have been with him this year. I know historically he has had lead the Colts to season after season of 10 + wins, but I think the Colts over the last few years have relied on him more and more to carry the team while providing him with fewer and fewer weapons. I understand that Painter is no where near the QB that Manning is, but an injury to one guy should not affect a team this dramatically. On top of that, their defense does not benefit from the “Manningless” excuse. The Colt’s defense has been just plain awful, and they can only blame themselves for that.

      • Anonymous

        I agree with iskar36 – While Manning is very good, the replacement QBs have been hopeless.

        The D has definitely declined – and now it seems to have give up.
        If the Colts had a couple of wins on the board I think the D would never have played so soft. Regardless, the DEs are older and not as effective and the D is also designed to play with a lead, the trouble is that the O can’t score.

        Indy needs to rebuild, it seems that they’ve had a number of misses in the Draft since 2008 and the team is in decline – something that has been masked over the last couple of years.

    • Matthew Butch

      I love Cowboy week almost as much as I love Just Beat the Cowboys week!

      I think its MORE likely that Murray is a flash in the pan (to quote Tyler) since he had such a huge day his first game.

  • Anonymous

    Tommy,

    How much real work is Graham going to be able to get if the Eagles can only have 1 day of full gear? Can we take whatever practice squad linemen we have or guys like Vandelverde and have them stay late and just run a bunch of drills with him?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

    I hope they wait atleast 1 more week before he plays. Graham have the potential to be a very good DE and with Babin finally locking down the LDE, we dont need Graham to produce early like we did last year

  • Anonymous

    I posted some NFL notes. Touched on Tebow, since a couple of people had asked about him.

    http://scoutsnotebook.com/

    • Anonymous

      Why is it that there’s so much hate/love for Tebow? It’s incredible for a man who has done nothing in the NFL, and I’m not saying that as a negative it’s just that it usually takes more than a year to make people love or hate you.

      • Anonymous

        I have wondered, though I am sure it has been discussed — is the love for Tebow in large part due to his much-publicized religious statements? I know how people can latch onto an athlete who shares their beliefs, and Tebow has been very public with his.

        Just like politicians pandering to an interest group, would a football team do that for marketing purposes? Would it work? I’m sure a star heathen has more marketing power than a mediocre religious guy, but still… Just wondering out loud, not making a statement one way or the other.

        • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

          People just really dislike self-proclaimed Born-Again Christians. It has to do with the virginity and the hand raising and worship songs. Plus, most people seem to dislike notorious do-gooders. It’s why he’s often labeled a “Holy Roller”.

          It seems to be human nature.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cliff-Hall/6218559 Cliff Hall

          I’m 100% certain the religious aspect has a LOT to do with the love/hate stuff. Nobody likes to have other people’s beliefs thrown in their face all the time. However, I just don’t like the guy because he stinks and Broncos fans seem to be delusional about him. LOL

          • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

            The difference is Tebow talks about it but he doesn’t pressure people into his beliefs. But people seem to tie those two together for whatever reason.

  • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

    Graham’s biggest struggles will definitely be trusting the knee.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      Yea, look at Tom Brady, he trusted hi knee fast and nobody would think now that he had a brutal knee injury

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_33FTQ3QUA6JVWLP7RC6WSPQTSY Furt

    Washburn coached Kyle Vanden Bosch in his second year back from an ACL tear (he had just recovered from reconstrcucive knee surgery before the ACL tear, not sure if it was the same knee) and V Bosch has been harrassing Qb’s ever since. It would be tits if Graham can be as successful and even better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      As Tommy mentioned and Eric said above, its not about the trainer, but how fast the player trusts his knee.

      • Anonymous

        I think the mental side of recovery is slightly hard to understand unless you have gone through something similar. At least that was the case for me. I never fully understood what it even meant for an athlete to be physically fully recovered, but mentally still healing until I hurt my knee. When I recovered from the injury, it took me awhile to fully trust it again. Prior to the injury, I wouldn’t think twice about laying out or making a sharp cut, but after, even though I would still make the sharp cut or lay out, I had to think about it and will myself to do it a lot more than I had in the past. That moment of hesitation made a huge difference. Add to that the fact that I am not even close to any kind of professional athlete and my injury was much less significant than Graham’s, it made me understand how much trusting an injury can affect the way you play sports.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          Thats why I was “lucky” to injury my leg as a 7 year old, you dont think about such thing at that age.

  • Anonymous

    Stewart Bradley wasn’t close to 100% last year. Now here’s the crazy part to that. His problems were more mental than physical.

    What’s his excuse this year?

    I saw him versus as a Card versus Wash and felt the the adage looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane, was a hand in glove fit for Stewart.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s important to remember that Graham’s didn’t suffer this injury until late in the season. Tommy, what was your opinion of him at the time of the injury, because from what I remember he was a pretty consistent starter for much of the year. I know he showed flashes, and that DEs usually struggle in their rookie year, but I don’t think we can just forget the fact that he was pretty disappointing for most of the season in which he did play.

    I’m hopeful like you that he takes JP snaps, who I for some reason have always disliked. Here’s to hoping that BG can get back on the field and provide some much needed depth at the position.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      If only valued Graham for his sacks, yes he did disappoint, but he gave the Eagles constant pressure and run defense from the LDE

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHFJFXII7VH2DWYBBXFKWQVZS4 ike

        Mike Mamula led the NFL in “pressures” every season — or he seemed to.

        He just was a 1/4 step too slow. (I think MM would’ve been great in the W-9.)

        I hope that’s not what happens with Graham. Good kid. Potential leader.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          In pressure, we talk about sack, hurries, QB-hits per pass rush and im pretty sure he was the rookie leader last year.

    • Anonymous

      I’d like to hear what Tommy thinks, but personally, I thought Graham did pretty well in his first year. Unfortunately though, I think people disliked him for a lot of things that he had nothing to do with. First, lots of people were excited about Berry, so if the Eagles traded up, they wanted us to trade up even higher to get him. Second, when we did in fact trade up, Earl Thomas was the guy everyone thought we would draft, but instead we went with Graham. Third, JPP and Derrick Morgan were also on the board, and depending on who you talked to, any one of those three would have been your preferred choice. Lastly, and I honestly think this is fairly significant, when we drafted Graham, Adam Shefter, if I remember correctly, immediately claimed that he believed Graham would be the defensive rookie of the year, thus, expectations were even higher from a lot of the fans. When he didn’t light it up/didn’t blow by JP for the starting role immediately, he was quickly labeled a disappointment. If I remember correctly though, before he got injured, he was making more plays and making his presence felt on a more regular basis. He just never had a break out game yet to live up to his first round draft pick.

      • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

        I believe FO had him as the best rookie DE. He played a bunch as a DT, too; which probably kept him out of place.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

        People also use the reverse logic that JPP is having a good season and Graham is injuried to claim that we should have had drafted JPP and not Graham.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHFJFXII7VH2DWYBBXFKWQVZS4 ike

    RE: Demarco Murray

    Looking at the top 25 single-game rushing totals . . .

    Only 3 players never had a 1000 yard season:

    1. Jerome Harrison
    2. Bobby Mitchell (HOF receiver / converted from HB)
    3. Bo Jackson (only because he played 60% of the season due to baseball).

    So the odds favor Murray being a 1000 yard runner at some point — if given the chance.

    Just as they did Harrison. But I think Murray’s has more raw talent.

    (Here’s the link from Profootballreference.com on Single Game Rushing Totals.
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/rush_yds_single_game.htm)

  • Anonymous

    Adam Caplan just reported that the Eagles worked out two punters today. While he hasn’t been spectacular, I didn’t think Chas Henry has done anything so far to warrant getting cut. Is there another way to look at this report and not assume the Eagles are not happy with Henry?

    Here’s Caplan’s tweet:
    caplannfl Adam Caplan
    #Eagles worked out two punters today, sources confirmed. One of them was former Packer and Steeler Jeremy Kapinos.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPZBMFBVAVUM65GQ3VDXOQDYZQ Morton

    Interesting tidbit or two about former Eagles DT Brodrick Bunkley:

    “After weeks of waxing lyrical about the performances of Mike Pouncey (-3.9) he comes off the Dolphins bye week with two poor performances. This one was by far his worst, as he just couldn’t cope with the strength and power of Broderick Bunkley (+3.7). The Broncos DT was only on the field for 22 snaps (16 running plays), but was a handful in those, picking up four defensive stops with three of them coming against Pouncey. It wasn’t even just the tackles he picked up after beating Pouncey, but the way he continually stood him up and drove him back from the line of scrimmage.”

    “PFF Game Ball
    Brodrick Bunkley, Defensive Tackle, Denver Broncos
    Do I really have to give it to someone? I’m going with Brodrick Bunkley, because to make the kind of impact he did, while spending so little time on the field is remarkable. A big reason why the Dolphins couldn’t run consistently, and opted to use so many three receiver sets.”

    From http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/10/24/re-focused-broncos-dolphins-week-7/

    Seeing as how the current Eagles defense is struggling to stop the run, couldn’t they have used Bunkley? Why did they so casually ship him out of town as if he was no better than some street free agent? This front office is ridiculously ADD-addled and makes questionable, impetuous transactions constantly.

    Bunkley is a solid run-stopping DT the likes of which this defensive line could really benefit from at the moment. He’s played well in that role for the Broncos all season. He provides a tough interior presence that would benefit the Wide-9 scheme the Eagles run. You can’t tell me that cutting Bunkley for Laws was the smart move in the offseason.

    • Anonymous

      This was the front offices worst yr in the decision making of the players they had on their roster. Keeping Asante so they’ll get less in return for him next yr, as well as not being able to sign D Jax with that money. Not giving Chaney or anyone practice time, besides Casey, at MLB just to consider preparing for reality when the season starts. They didn’t know that the LB pos. is very important, not less, in the wide nine. Bunkley was a 1st rd pick due to playing in a similar system at FSU & being very talented. Wash was saying all summer how excited he is to work with him, so out of blues, the front office decided to trade him for mid-late rd pick b4 even letting him practice. If anything I think they desperately need to replace the head of the front office. Even with the draft everyone new they did a great job in ’08 and ’09 in the 1st 2 rds. right when the picks were made, but this yr was very different. Especially their 2nd rd pick, who not surprisingly hasn’t played 1 snap yet, maybe because he was supposed to go btwn the 3rd and 6th rd and that was for a reason.

    • John Smith

      Okay, who do you cut, then? Laws? Because Dixon outplayed Bunk last year.

      • Anonymous

        You don’t need to trade or cut anyone prior to training camp and preseason begins.

    • Anonymous

      PFF was on TATE last year with a stat that showed us that Bunk was the best pass rushing DT on the Eagles roster. It (their stats) was, to coin a phrase – Bunkum. Means nothing. That is reinforced by the fact that the very player they would give the game ball to, only saw 22 snaps.

      You’ll note that Bunk is listed as their NT, which suggests he didn’t fit here, despite his heralded 1-gap background at Florida St, Bunk is at his best holding the POA. Equally, as his no show trade to Cleveland shows, it would seem that Bunk may not have been the happiest of campers or greatest locker room influences. It also shows that he may not have wanted to stay here in a system that doesn’t fit his strengths.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cliff-Hall/6218559 Cliff Hall

        LOL – “That is reinforced by the fact that the very player they would give the game ball to, only saw 22 snaps.”

  • Anonymous

    I thought Graham was up and down last year. At times he looked good and disappeared in other games. I think his lack of production was in large part due to how McDermott used him. Though Graham started the year at DE, he frequently saw time at DT in pass rushing situations. This, to me, was a terrible use of his talents. Secondly, as the season wore on, Graham was often seen dropping back into coverage. I don’t know the percentage of the snaps, but I did read that the Eagles dropped DEs back into coverage more than any other team in the NFL last year. Cole did it occasionally, but it appeared that Graham and Parker were the DEs most called upon to perform this ridiculous task. In short, Graham spent too much time at DT and dropping into coverage. I think that was the biggest reason some commentators thought he wasn’t that productive as a rookie.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Tommy (and everyone), Did everyone else seem to realize how quickly and effectively we moved the ball down the field on the Skins by throwing short and intermediate passes. I felt like we hit like 6 of them in a row and were really in a groove mixing these routes with the run game. I also thought that for semre reason in the second half, we ran our “normal” pass patterns that tend to be deep/slow developing plays.
    I really would love to see our offense go to more of the intermediate passes. We have the skill position guys to get YAC and move the chains. Also, these quick throws really limit the hits Vick will take. Thoughts?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CPUAZGSQHUV2UOVSUAOQ36SKGY Adam Bree

    B Grahm, Trent Cole, and Jason Peters are back at practice and the McRib is back till late November. This has the makings of a fantastic week.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/The-McRib-makes-a-apf-3131095863.html?x=0&.v=3

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAFPMGBMKM5HPPPGKT5AVL53LA Gary

      The only losers are my future grandchildren, whom the McRib will prevent me from meeting.

    • Anonymous

      You need to visit Germany dude.. ;)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

    Pick a QB to win 1 game from this list…

    Tim Tebow
    Sexy Rexy
    Colt McCoy

    • Anonymous

      Think about it this way: which one would you let your daughter date?
      Tim Tebow would be a boring date. He’d talk about Jesus and saving the children and blah blah blah.
      Sexy Rexy would try to unleash his dragon as soon as he got her in the car on the way to dinner.
      Colt, meh, seems like an okay guy. I’ll go with him.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

        Can’t argue with that logic.