Tight end Jimmy Graham recently said that the Bears have the right plan for him, but Graham didn’t say what it is.
So what is it?
Graham added in his introductory conference call that he can still run. Many would say he can’t run like he used to. The reality is that he can still catch, and that he has the body to create space when trying to get the ball in short-yardage or red-zone situations.
That’s exactly what the Bears should be doing with Graham: Letting him box out defensive backs in tight spaces and go get the football.
Remember Week One against the Bears at Soldier Field? Green Bay’s only touchdown came when quarterback Aaron Rodgers tossed the ball in Graham’s general direction and grabbed it out of the air.
At this point in his career, that’s his biggest strength. Not running. And definitely not blocking.
It never was blocking, even though there are still some meatheads out there who refuse to understand that the basketball-player-turned-tight-end’s game was never about blocking. His game was and is about running routes and catching passes, period. To chastise him for not blocking is no different than shaming an offensive lineman for not being able to throw a 30-yard spiral.
So Graham can still play an important role for the Bears, as long as that role is specifically defined. If the Bears do that, they’ll be happy with Graham’s performance.