Kenny Vaccaro: Jimmy Graham is faster than last year

AP

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham didn’t take part in the team’s offseason work this year because of his contract situation, but one of the teammates tasked with stopping him in practice says that the time away from the team didn’t slow the tight end down.

In fact, the opposite appears to be true. Safety Kenny Vaccaro is finding it even harder to match up with Graham this summer than it was while Graham was on his way to 86 catches, 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.

“The dude’s flying. He’s faster than last year, he seems stronger,” Vaccaro said, via ESPN.com.

Graham didn’t need to get any faster or stronger in order to pile up huge numbers in the New Orleans offense and last year’s production came despite a nagging foot injury that limited him at points last season. Vaccaro’s take suggests that isn’t an issue for Graham any longer, leaving one to wonder what kind of performance he’ll put up if the rest of the league’s defenders find it as hard to stay with Graham as Vaccaro has found it this summer.