Joseph Fauria thinks he can “contribute very similarly” to Jimmy Graham


When Joe Lombardi was introduced as the Lions’ offensive coordinator at a press conference last week, he said that there would be a lot of similarities with the offense that Lombardi was part of as the quarterbacks coach in New Orleans.

That led to an excited tweet from tight end Joseph Fauria, who had seven touchdowns on 18 catches in his first season as a receiving tight end with the Lions. The 6-foot-7 Fauria thinks he can improve on those numbers based on what he’s seen from the tight end that catches a lot of passes in the New Orleans offense.

“I’m fully aware of what that means and I do know who Jimmy Graham is,” Fauria said, via the team’s website. “I have a similar background to (Graham) with basketball and similar height and the way we play. I’m not calling myself Jimmy Graham, but I strive to have the kind of production he has. I think I can contribute very similarly to how he has with the Saints.”

It’s a lofty goal, but there’s not much point in setting a goal of being a part-time player called on in the red zone. Fauria said he is training this offseason to fine-tune everything about his game and his chances of seeing a spike in playing time would go way up if he succeeds in making himself a more complete player than he was in 2013.

The same will be true if the Lions let Brandon Pettigrew walk as a free agent, something that we’ll find out once March rolls around.