Graham apparently caught a bunch of so-called touchdowns in red zone practice on Tuesday, highlighting the area where he might be most effective for the Seahawks (who, as we all know, prefer to throw from the 1-yard line).
Wilson and Graham started building their chemistry immediately after the trade that brought Graham and a fourth-rounder from New Orleans in exchange for Max Unger and Seattle’s first-round pick.
Wilson said he talked to Unger first, telling him how much he would miss him. Then he talked to Saints quarterback Drew Brees — who has been an NFL mentor for Wilson — and told Brees all about Unger.
“Then I talked to Jimmy, and it was one of those things where I knew our connection was going to be very, very similar, very on point with where I wanted to be,” Wilson said. “He wants the best from everyone. He is a great team player who is determined to be the best to play the game. That is his mindset, and it is never going to change.
“Just spending time with him has been great. … The personal side, it has been a great fit for him and a great fit for us, and just relationship side and the bond we already have… is crucial for everybody. We love him and we love his demeanor.”
Wilson and Graham first got to know each other during the team bonding trip to Maui last month, and the quarterback furthered the relationship when he accompanied Graham to the funeral of one of his close mentors, Tammy Meyerson, in Miami last week.
“Just to be there for Jimmy (was important),” Wilson said. “He is a guy who has been through a lot; he is a guy who loves people deeply when he trusts them. Tammy was an unbelievable lady, and there were so many there for her, and Jimmy was a son for her. Just to spend time with Jimmy, quality time, and to get away from football and spend one-on-one time meant a lot for me and hopefully him as well.”
Wilson said he is already very familiar with Graham because he has watched Brees since he was in high school, trying to learn how a similarly sized QB has excelled in the NFL.
“I was fortunate to be able to see a lot of Jimmy because of that, and I have a lot of respect for the talent he has,” Wilson said. “His timing is so on point and he’s very, very quick. Throwing to him is easy. … He is a superstar, and he is going to be one for a very long time.
“He is a great addition to what we already have. We have had the opportunity to go to two Super Bowls in three years, and we have a lot of great players who have made a lot of great plays. Just to add him in is something special.”
Graham has been similarly impressed by Wilson.
“It’s been incredible,” Graham said. “Clearly, I have watched him from afar as a player and (seen) his growth over the years, but to walk in the building and see his character (and) experience who he is as a man has been awesome. What he did (accompanying Graham to Miami) obviously meant a lot — not only to myself but also to my extended family. (Wilson) and the entire Seahawks organization were behind myself and my family.”
As for how the Hawks plan to use Graham, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said, “We really just want to fit him in and see what we have. We have seen enough tape of him playing with the Saints, but we want to fit him in with our terminology, our schemes. And he showed up great today, just as we would expect him to. There will be stuff here and there that will be specifically for him.”
Graham has averaged 89 catches and 138 targets over the past four seasons and has scored 46 touchdowns. He knows he might not get that much action in Seattle, where Marshawn Lynch and the running game are No. 1.
“I know that I am probably not going to get targeted 130 times, but that’s not my concern,” Graham said. “I just want to win games. There will be times — big moments in the game — where I know I am going to have to go out there and make a play. That’s where I am focused on, making sure that when the ball comes my way that I am ready and I am taking hold of this opportunity, not letting these opportunities pass me by.”
A lot of people have criticized Graham’s blocking — as if that is the reason the Seahawks got him. But he said he is excited to play in an offense that is so effective on the ground, helping as a blocker and receiving threat.
“Personally, I’m excited to block,” he said. “When you go in the game and you’re guarded by corners and safeties for most of your career and you keep getting doubled, that’s never a good thing. I know that’s just going to help this offense out. It’ll help give looks to where guys can’t stack the box with 10 guys. So for me, it’s all positive. I can’t wait. That’s what I’ve been focusing on since I got here.
“The routes and the passing offense, that obviously comes natural,” he said. “So for me, it’s about focusing on what they’re trying to do here, which is the running game. It’s the staple of this offense, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”