During the Green Bay Packers’ second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they received a glimpse of what life will be like this season with Jimmy Graham on their team.
On a 3rd-and-5 play from the Steelers’ eight-yard line, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers was able to connect with his tight end in the endzone for the touchdown.
This was the first time Rodgers and Graham had connected in a game for a score since the tight end was acquired by Green Bay during free agency this summer, and it probably won’t be the last.
Following the conclusion of the game, which the Packers won 51-34, Rodgers expressed his delight with his new receiving weapon after they linked up in an actual game for the first time.
The quarterback said, via Packers.com: “Jimmy ran a nice route and he’s a big target. So, it was fun to get that.”
Rodgers also emphasized just how dangerous Graham can be no matter where he is on the field.
He said: “Well, he can do it all over the field. I don’t think he was used a ton the past couple of years as much in the middle of the field, but he’s an incredible athlete.
“He’s got a wide, wide catch radius and there’s a lot of things he can do. So, it’s exciting to be able to have a guy like that.”
Graham gives Rodgers a red-zone threat at the tight end position which he hasn’t had before, but he can also be effective on other areas on the field as well.
The Packers quarterback certainly hasn’t played with a tight end as talent as Graham before, who has already played with great quarterbacks in Drew Brees at the New Orleans Saints, and Russell Wilson at the Seattle Seahawks.
Graham joined the Packers on a three-year, $30 million deal back in March, and he looks set to be the second most targetted player in Green Bay next season.
This comes after he wasn’t the focal point of the Seahawks’ passing game over the past three seasons since he only had 170 catches for 2,048 yards and 18 touchdowns over that period.
Graham will be hoping he can return to the similar numbers he had at the Saints, where over five seasons he amassed 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns on 386 catches.