How to deal with Graham

Posted by Darren Urban on September 18, 2013 – 10:40 am

Jimmy Graham is 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds. It’s the size of a scary looking pass rusher, only he’s playing tight end for the New Orleans Saints, and the Cardinals must find a way with which to cover him Sunday.

With 10 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown last week, Graham beat up the Buccaneers. The Cardinals, meanwhile, had their own issues covering the tight end in week one, when the Rams’ Jared Cook got loose for seven catches for 141 yards. The Cards did a much better job against the Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew last week (three catches for 32 yards) but Pettigrew and Graham aren’t in the same zip code in terms of importance or talent. Cook’s big game, and the looming Graham issue, underscores the importance of having Daryl Washington in the lineup. But Washington is out for two more games, and it means the Cards will probably have to attack Graham in different ways.

Some have asked if the Cards could use Patrick Peterson. I don’t see that. For one, Peterson has wide receivers to deal with, like Marques Colston. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Colston himself has size with which to take on Peterson. I don’t see Peterson battling Graham. The Cardinals used safety Yeremiah Bell at linebacker some last week, and that makes sense to continue. That’s the lineup that got rookie safety Tony Jefferson on the field, and I could see a version of it again. Washington replacement Karlos Dansby will likely get some work in that regard. And any team is going to drop into a zone from time to time.

There’s another part of the equation that would help, and that would go for Graham or Colston or any of the receivers — getting some heat on quarterback Drew Brees. That goes without saying, but it will be crucial.


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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “How to deal with Graham”

  1. By zach on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    Since Payton and NO like to run the ball, perhaps run a base 3-4 and hit Graham with the OLB at the line of scrimmage to disrupt his routes. Do not let him get off the LOS and run a clean route.

    That, or go back to a nickel and leave PP21 along with Colston and double team Graham.

  2. By kauaicardsfan on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    Aloha Darren,
    Is DWash practicing at all during this suspension or is he totally away from the team for these 4 weeks? Just wondering if he will be ready to go once week 5 is here?


  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Washington

    Washington is allowed to work out and attend meetings. He cannot practice.

  4. By xBIGxMx on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    I’s sure BA and the Cards will have a great way to deal with Graham. Even if it was a huge play and 2 TDs, the Cards still manage to keep Megatron under control through that whole game. I feel 100% positive they will also shut down Graham. Go Cards!

  5. By UK cards fan on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    Judging by Dansby’s job on cook, we may be in quite a bit of trouble here

  6. By Dynosoar on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    Since PP is playing some WR & QB, how about Calais playing some TE. If Graham gave the Buccaneers fits, why not let Calais give them fits as well.

    We could line up Dan Williams at RB like the Fridge back in the day. No team would know how to game plan against us.

    I’m hoping this game will be played on the networks, would love to see a game other than San Francisco each week.

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    “There’s another part of the equation that would help, and that would go for Graham or Colston or any of the receivers — getting some heat on quarterback Drew Brees. That goes without saying, but it will be crucial.”

    You said a mouthful there Darren.
    To add to it, they have to get to him without blitzing. Brees will pick you apart if you blitz him. Of course, if you let him sit back in a comfortable pocket, he will kill you also.

    I like what Bowles did the second half of Detroit. He went to a 4-2-5 with Bell as LB. I would bracket Graham much the way the did Megatron the second half and I would tell PP, if you think you are elite, Im locking you up one on one all day with Colston.
    That puts 4 defenders on 3 other possible receivers You could even run a man with 2 deep safeties overtop.

    What our defense needs to do is put the pressure on the front four to get to Brees. Abraham, Dockett, Campbell, Williams and the other rotational guys have to win at the line and put pressure on Brees.

    All you Dockett defenders, he has done little to show I’m wrong about his demise. He needs to show up this week.

  8. By Corgon on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    Hit him on the line of scrimmage and send Tyrann after him. I’ve a feeling he can tackle everybody. He’s a hard hitter, but don’t want to solve everything with power. He’s smart and have a nose for the ball. I think he could win several battles against Graham and that would be enough.
    Limiting him is the only thing what we can do. There is no player in the nfl who could shut down Graham with Brees. I’m pretty sure about this.

    To win this battle, we need a really sharp Palmer, a healty Fitz and a consistent Roberts+Floyd duo and of course some pass rush.

  9. By Sean on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    A little off topic, but I just saw that the Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts for their 2014 1st rd pick. Browns say they are saying that they’re building for the future…..Soooo, I wonder if Keim will reach out & offer the Browns our 2nd rd pick in 2014 along with Ryan Williams for Left Tackle Joe Thomas! One can have dreams….haha

  10. By Sean on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    As of now Cleveland has 2 first rd & 2 third round picks, so if the Cards give up their 2014 2nd rounder, the browns will have 6 picks in the 1st 3 rds. This can get them a QB & a franchise left tackle that can all grow together & we can even throw in Levi Brown!!! Come on Keim, pull this off!! 😉

  11. By Mexican Card on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    The honey badger can take care off Graham, almost same size LOL

  12. By Nick Pepe on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply

    I think Mike Tyson said it best, everyone has a game plan, til you punch them in the mouth. Legally, of course. Set the tone early and often.

    I have a good feeling about this road trip. Real good feeling.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  13. By mal on Sep 18, 2013 | Reply


    I’m not a Dockett defender, but I’ve always been a big Dockett fan.

    I have not been on here defending him against your running him down these last several weeks becuz your criticisms were justified — his play had slipped. But I thought he looked much better this last game. I only watched the game once — live — but our D-line was collapsing the pocket in on Stafford. Sometimes Dockett was even pushing double teams into the backfield, and he played the run pretty well, too.

    Sure, I agree — his level of play was not good against the Rams, but didnt he have 3 tackles this last game? Thats not Pro-bowl, but its very decent — maybe enough improvement that you dont need to keep dogging the guy.

  14. By ored on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    all any of them have to do,is produce,it seems the more noteriety you have the brighter the light shines on you,some thrive and some wither,but it usually ends up being up to long as the team and locker room tolerates it then it’s fine,bottom line is to produce and not disrupt the chemistry.

  15. By stevenanimator on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards D has allowed an average of more than 280 yards passing in the first two games and a lot of that yardage was gained after the catch. When you combine that with the fact that they’ve struggled to put pressure on the QB, Sunday’s game could turn into a shellacking by the Saints Offense. The D-Line has to step up their game and DB’s need to go after the ball with the precision of heat-seeking missiles if they are going to have any chance of winning in NO. It’s strange that just a season ago, it was the Cards Offense that was questionable – now it’s the Defense.

  16. By clssylssy on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    I think the focus on Graham and Brees is certainly justified but it seems, the new Rob Ryan defense is not being taken seriously. Last year the Saints defense was laughable but, kinda like the Cardinal offense, things have changed, there has been upgrades and the Saints defense is now something to be taken seriously. Safety Kenny Vacarro along with Roman Harper were able to handle to Bucs nicely and clear the way for Brees, Sproles, Ingram, Graham, Colston, Stills and company on the offense to clean up in Saints fashion. The Cards gave up over a hundred yards in penalties last week to the Lions which we just can’t do against the Saints. We are going to have to win the turnover battle, the redzone battle as well as the penalty battle if we expect to stay in the game. Brees has a goal of making forty points per game and the Saints are on a mission to prove something to everybody; they don’t see the Cards as any kind of serious threat, which was their fatal flaw the last time the two teams met up in the desert and they were fresh off their Superbowl win. Garrett Hartley is an ace kicker so let’s hope Jay Feeley is feeling on his game again this week. If the Cards expect to get any measure of respect from the national media then we are going to have to go into the Dome and show those WhoDats we know how to spice of the gumbo with some smart, as well as, hard hitting football coming away with a healthy win. The Saints are clueless as to the depth and talent of this Cardinal team and the many weapons in our arsenal. Last week’s win over the Lions got a whiff of notice on the national level…time to exact some solid respect with a solid win in Nawlins. GO CARDS! STOMP THOSE WHODTS BACK INTO THE SWAMP!

  17. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply



    If he was a guy like say, Paris Lenon, who was giving it his all and trying to be part of a team, I wouldn’t say much.

    But part of it is Dockett’s antics, complaining about Horton defense, saying with the new defense, he is going off like it was Hortons fault he played poorly last year. Part of it is uninformed fans thinking he will wreck havoc.

    I’m just saying, if this was a court of law, you would need evidence to make claims like that. Frankly, there is no evidence that Dockett is any more than a role player. It is so much like the Levi Brown being called elite, when your eyes were telling you something else.

    BTW, I didn’t see all three of Docketts tackles because being at the game, it is tough to see it all, but I can tell you one of his tackles was in the south side around the 20, he was driven back 7 yards and got an arm on Bush and Bush went down. Not impressive.

    I love the cards and have had season tickets for 20+ years. But I call them like I see them. Just like Faniaka’ s cheap shot on Suh that drew a lot of thumbs down, I have not been popular pointing out Dockett, but I do have loads of evidence to support my case.

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