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Graham Arrives With Big Smile On Face

Graham Meets the Press At Leigh
By Lance Epstein

Last night the Eagles and first-round pick DE Brandon Graham agreed on a five-year contract. Today, Graham left Detroit where he was working out and preparing for training camp and the upcoming season to join the club. After the team's first full practice Graham met the media and offered some of thoughts:

Here are his quotes from the press conference:

On why he cannot stop walking around with a smile:

"I have a lot to smile about. I'm finally here and that was the best thing. I'm just happy to be done with everything and be a part of the team now."

On his urgency and itch to get to camp:

"I just believe that my agent did a great job and he was coaching me through the whole thing. He was just letting me know that, 'I'm going to have you there on time, that's my worry' and he was there. He was right on time with it even though I wasn't here last night. I couldn't make the flight, but I was here early, first thing in the morning."

On getting a contract done when veterans arrived as the latest he’d sign:

"Yes, because he was telling me that realistically I wasn't going to be at the rookie camp. But for the veterans I was going to be there and he was like, 'You're really not going to miss too much.' I just wanted to make sure that I was here when the vets got here."

On if not having a lot of other first rounds signed made it harder on him:

"I wasn't really worried about it, but it took a lot of pressure off me because a lot of people weren't signed. I just wanted to get here because I wanted to show (head) coach (Andy) Reid and all those guys, Mr. Banner and Mr. Lurie that they didn't waste a pick."

On if it stressful sitting at home while selected veterans and rookies were practicing:

"It was kind of stressful because you want to be out here, but I just controlled what I could control and I made sure I tried to stay in shape and work out with the Michigan football team, just waiting until I came down here and show what I got."

On being in Michigan working out:

"Yes. I stayed up there. I still have my place there. The lease was up, what, last week, so they let me stay an extra week so it was nice."

On delays in negotiations:

"I'm going to leave that up to my agent. I don't really know. He was just telling me that I was going to be there on time and I wasn't really trying to get into his job. I was just controlling what I could and staying in shape."

On talking with teammates while training camp was going on from Michigan:

"I talked to Daniel [Teo'Nesheim] and he was just telling me about the plays that we went over. It was pretty much the same thing as mini camp, he was saying and he said just make sure that you're ahead when you get here. Just make sure you're in shape because he said it was hard for them because there weren't really any substitutions and anybody here with them."

On the bending lock out and CBA expiring affected the negotiations:

"Yes. My agent explained that to me while we were going over the contract today and everything. He was just telling me, 'Don't worry about it, but just make sure you save your money because there's a potential lockout next year.' That's all I'm going to do is focus on football and save my money."

On his job and how he needs to prepare for it:

"I just have to go in there and get them comfortable with me, knowing that I know all the plays and I'm trying to do everything right as much as possible."

On whether he has to prove why the Eagles drafted him:

"Yes, I showed them that I'm paying attention out there on the field. I'm not really getting up and trying to do too much out there, I'm just trying to learn it and take it one day at a time."

On if missing practice time will hurt him:

"Well, I feel like I was there a little bit, because I talked to players every day, just to let them know that I wished I was there, let them know that I'm not being selfish, it's just the business part of it, and they understood. I just felt bad because I wish I could be out there and I don't want to feel like I'm better than anybody, but that's just how it is. I talked to Daniel every night and he was just keeping me updated on plays."

On the adjustments from college to the pros:

"Just working on my technique a little more. I'm learning everything defensive line coach (Rory) Segrest does in individual and trying to perfect my game on the technique."

On his total amount of sleep today:

"Three hours. I stayed up until about 2:30 a.m. talking to people; everybody was congratulating me. I woke up at 5:15 and got on the flight about 7:05, and I got here about 8:30. Ever since then I've been awake, doing everything I'm supposed to do, physicals, stuff like that."

On gaining weight was a goal for him heading into his rookie year:

"The goal was to just stay where I was and just to get a little bit more muscle and work on my core. That's the biggest thing, because my stomach, I just wanted to cut it up a little bit more, and I told coach in there that I'm going to be in the weight room a lot, every day, after practice, trying to get extra abs in, because that's a goal of mine, I've got a bet with some of the players at Michigan, because they call me fatboy."

On his exact weight:

"Right now, 278."

On the details of his bet:

"I just have to cut it up before camp's over with, and show some type of improvement."

On his speed being enough at this level:

"Yeah, the speed is good, and I'm working on my hands, and I think I have good hands and learning from coach Segrest, I think it's going to be even better. And that's all I'm going to do, just work on my game and what coach is trying to do out there on the field, and do everything within the scheme like I did back at Michigan, now I'm here in Philadelphia."

On his thoughts on veterans helping him:

"I need help out there sometimes, but most of the time, I know it is a business and everybody, at the end of the day, wants to be out there and be that guy. I know I got to step it up, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to go out there and be in my book every night."

On arriving at Bethlehem:

"I got picked up and went to NovaCare and one of the security guards, Dom, came to pick me up and drove me up here. We talked the whole time, and I got a little extra sleep, I got a 30 minutes nap, so I'm feeling kind of good."

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