Brandon Graham was practicing the Philadelphia Eagles defense for the first time this season on Monday as the Eagles removed the defensive end of the Pro Bowl from the Physically Unable To Perform list. Returning Graham to the field is a huge step forward towards the Eagles starting their Super Bowl hero for the opening of the season against the Atlanta Falcons on September 6th.
Do not expect Graham to play until then in no game action. It's a process to bring Graham back to the field for real game representatives, so do not expect to see him in the preseason game Eagles against Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
"I do not know how much will come back in the mix: there are steps to be taken along the way," said the defensive coordinator Eagles Jim Schwartz . "This is an important step to get back to practice with his teammates, probably just for some individual things and we will work for him, but it's nice to have him back, we did not miss a lot. around a bit & of course it's a guy who did a lot for our defense
"It's nice to have him back on the pitch, but it's not like we lost him. "
Finding Graham in the defensive end of the rotation is a great stimulus for the defense of the Eagles, one that already has one of the best running attacks on the field without his presence. Since Schwartz became the defensive coordinator in 2016, it is difficult to name many defensive finals that have been more productive in Graham's NFL.In the last two seasons, Graham has accumulated 142 pressures, 106 tackles, 15 bags, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown (31 games)
Graham averaged 5.8 pass pressure rush generated by 2012, which is the second in the NFL . Graham's run-stop percentage of 13.7 has led all the boarders in 2017.
Then there is Graham's performance in the postseason. Graham h had the biggest game of Super Bowl 52, forcing a Tom Brady fumble with just over two minutes remaining … sealing the championship for Philadelphia. Graham finished with 60 pressures, 9.5 bags, 2 forced fumbles and three deviations in 2017.
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So, where does Graham fit the improved defensive line of Eagles? He will assume his left defensive defense point in the first team with Derek Barnett lining up in front of him. Michael Bennett and Chris Long will revolve with Graham and Barnett at the ends with Josh Sweat and Steven Means in the third team.
The Eagles will also add a unique twist to the passage of the past to the third down, with Graham and / or Bennett sliding in to get an extra rusher on the interior of the line. With Bennett likely to assume that role, Graham will line up beside him outside (his natural position).
A good problem to have for the eagles that go on.
"Things that have never been said in the NFL:" I have too many runners passing through, I have too many good curves, "said Schwartz. "Those are things that the defensive coordinators, the defenses in general, the value, must be built for the long term, there will be injuries, it was well documented last year, the injuries we had
" Part of the filling those were having a good depth. You will not find a coach in the world who will complain about this. "