Jimmy Graham has played more games than any other player on the Bears. He knows how to grade himself.
At the midway point of his 11th season, the tight end gives himself an incomplete.
“I’ve had some positive moments, had some negative moments,” he said Friday. “But I’m never satisfied. I’m just going to keep working every day, keep taking hold of my opportunities. I felt like I fell short a little bit last week and I can’t let that happen. I can’t let those weeks stack.
“So I’m going to be an example, I’m going to be the leader I am and move forward with positivity but also be the player I am. I’ve got to go out there and when my number’s called and there are plays to be made I’ve got to make them.”
Graham had only two catches on seven targets — including an overtime drop — for 13 receiving yards in Sunday’s loss against his former team, the Saints.
Through eight games, Graham is averaging 3.6 catches and 30.9 receiving yards per game. That’s not as much of an improvement over his disappointing season with the Packers last year – he averaged 2.4 catches and 27.9 yards — than either he or the Bears would prefer.
Quarterback Nick Foles talks about trying to sync up the Bears’ offense in practice. That’s been hard for Graham this week; he missed Wednesday’s practice with knee and hamstring problems before the Bears shut down Halas Hall on Thursday. He practiced Friday.
“For me I think it’s just we’ve got to keep grinding away and get that timing down,” he said. “I mean, at times maybe I haven’t gotten my depth or [Foles has] been trying to get the ball out of his hands. So it’s really a feel thing and it’s really time on task.
“So I’ve got to keep believing and we’ve got to keep believing.”