Jimmy Graham: "He Paved the Way for Me"
Going into this game, there have always been comparisons between you and Antonio Gates given your basketball backgrounds. How much do you see him as one of the guys who helped push the tight end position along for guys like you and him who maybe don’t have the traditional football background?
“He’s one of the reasons that I got an opportunity to play in the NFL. Without him, I wouldn’t have even been given this opportunity or been given the opportunity to play in college. He paved the way for me. I know that. It was a special moment last year playing with him and (Tony) Gonzalez in the Pro Bowl. That was definitely a dream come true.”
Did you guys play any pickup basketball in Hawaii?
“No, we didn’t’ play any pickup basketball. I would have loved to have played a little one-on-one with him.”
How much did the one year in college help you as opposed him not getting that experience? Did it make you feel a little bit better?
“It definitely did. It built a little confidence in me. It taught me the basics literally from the ground up. I had the opportunity to learn without pressure. There was some pressure, but not as much pressure as comes with the NFL in trying to keep your job and feed your family. For me, I definitely think I got a booster by going to college and playing the six months..”
Wasn’t Gates even much more of an experiment than you were here because I don’t think he actually played in college at all?
“Most people would still stay that I’m still an experiment here. I remember when I was drafted here. People were shocked, third round and that they drafted a basketball player which stunned some people. So, for the most part, I think both of us were experiments.”
Re: Jimmy Graham: "He Paved the Way for Me"
Yeah Jimmy, an experiment that went very, very right!!
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