Not only is great to see Brandon Graham out at Lehigh looking healthy and in shape, its also been refreshing to see his level of confidence. Last season, when he struggled to get back from injury, multiple reports as well as admissions from the player himself had Graham as pretty depressed and discouraged by the way things were going.
He had no offseason and wasn't taken care of by the teams' medical staff, so his rehab was slow and conditioning wasn't great. He'd gained quite a bit of weight... One of his big rivals from the 2012 draft class, Jason Pierre-Paul was blossoming into a star and Graham was being labelled as a bust at every opportunity.
You can see why he got a bit down.
But this year, we've seen a 180 degree change. Graham has come into camp brimming with confidence and looking noticeably more svelte. Now feeling 100% and coming off a great summer, Graham is surprising even himself.
"Just my conditioning [surprised me]. I know I've been working hard and all that. It's just never the same when you put the pads on and you've got to run around with helmets and shoulder pads. But you know, I was in pretty good shape and if I'm able to go hard every play, it's going to be trouble."
Graham, who at this point is in line to start at DE in the first preseason game, is looking at it like a second chance to make a first impression.
"That's going to be the first time for me to show them what I'm going to do in the games and that's how I'm taking it. Like it's my first step to where I want to be and hopefully it goes exactly how I planned it to go, how I envisioned it to go. All I can do is work hard and that's what I'm going to do and we'll see when that day comes."
For the first time as an Eagle, it really seems as though Graham is having fun out there and feeling comfortable. When a reporter asked him whether he say himself as more of a Trent or a Jason Babin, I loved his response.
"I'm more of a Brandon Graham [laughs]. But those guys are great players. Everybody's got their own unique things about themselves. I feel like I'm just trying to get better just with my run game and just get better in all areas. So, I've just got to keep doing what [Defensive Line] Coach [Jim] Washburn asks and I can't wait. I just can't wait."