Rodgers and Graham may connect this season and that will make the Packers offense very dangerous!
GREEN BAY – It was just one play in an OTA, but it was the kind of play that didn’t happen last year nearly often enough.
The biggest offensive highlight on Tuesday at Clarke Hinkle Field occurred when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fired a pass down the middle to tight end Jimmy Graham, who had a half step or so on outside linebacker Preston Smith. Fully stretched out, Graham hauled it in and kept his feet for what would have been a monster gain.
That was the vision a year ago when Graham was added as a big free-agent signing, and while he certainly made a contribution in 2018, 55 catches for 636 yards and two touchdowns wasn’t anything close to what he had in mind.
Now the veteran tight end and five-time Pro Bowler is learning a new offense along with his quarterback, and they’re expecting plays like Tuesday’s to be just the beginning.
“Coming off of last season, it’s important to get him going and feeling comfortable in the offense,” Rodgers said after practice. “I think this offense sets up really good for him. It gives him opportunities to win with his routes and then situations like (today), to win with his athletic ability and his speed.
“He has a tremendous catch radius, which you saw on that play, because the ball was pretty inside. He made a great catch on it.”
Graham, who rarely speaks to the media, made it clear late last year that his first with Rodgers was subpar by his standards. Normally a dangerous red-zone target, the 6-foot-7, 265-pounder matched his career low with just the two touchdowns, the same as his first season in Seattle in 2015 after five years in New Orleans.