After a disappointing first season in Green Bay in which he scored only two touchdowns, Packers tight end Jimmy Graham is looking to bounce back in a big way in 2019 according to Kelly Price of NBC26 in Green Bay.
“Obviously last year was disappointing for everybody. I’m not used to losing. I don’t think anybody here is, you know?” Graham told Price Sunday at his charity cornhole tournament. “And for me, it was not a good year. I’m completely focused on putting my best foot forward and being the player that I am: Scoring in the red zone and being that big threat on third down. I mean, I gotta get back to that. And I take it serious. It’s something that eats at me every single day, not making the playoffs and sometimes not making the plays that I should have. So you better believe I’m gonna be ready.”
The Packers signed Graham last offseason to a two-year, $30 million contract in hopes of ending their yearly revolving door (Martellus Bennett, Jared Cook, etc) at the tight end position. To say that things didn’t go as planned would be an understatement, as the 32-year-old Graham never seemed to establish consistent chemisty with franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers and struggled to gain separation from defenders. There was even talk that the Packers might cut their loss before paying Graham the $5 million roster bonus due in March but the team decided to give the Rodgers/Graham connection another try under new head coach Matt LaFleur.
And it is not like Graham was the only disappointing player in Green Bay in 2018 as a team that was touted in the preseason as a legitimate Super Bowl contender was out of the playoff hunt by midseason. Graham clearly believes things will change in 2019. “I mean we all have our ups and downs,” Graham said. “Obviously there was a lot going on last year for all of us in the building. But all that’s in the past. I know the player that I am and I know I still have juice, I know I still can run. I’m gonna go prove a lot of people wrong.”