Brandon Graham is ready to hit somebody.
After participating in the all of the Eagles' off-season activities so far, including the just-concluded two weeks of Organized Team Activities, Graham is chomping at the bit to do what he was brought to Philadelphia to do, lay out the quarterback.
But while he still won't be allowed to hit the quarterback at training camp, Graham is counting the days until July 26th when he can finally put the pads on up at Lehigh University.
"I know I can't hit the quarterback yet, but at least I'll get to hit some of the linemen and the running backs," Graham said following the final practice of OTAs.
Graham has spent the majority of his time in Philadelphia so far learning the defensive playbook and getting pointers from defensive line coach Rory Segrest. On the field, Graham lined up primarily as the second team left defensive end, though he got a few snaps with the first team in place of Juqua Parker. A first-round pick whom the Eagles traded up nine spots to select, Graham will no doubt be expected to push Parker for significant playing time as a rookie. It should also be noted that Graham, 6-foot-2, 268 pounds, got the majority of the reps as the left defensive end in the first-team nickel defense this spring, so he's likely to be counted on early as a situational pass rusher.
"I'm pleased with the progress I've made so far going into training camp and I think I'll be ready," Graham said. "I just need to work on staying low, working on first getting the pads on and seeing what else I need to work on. And for right now, just learning as much as I can before training camp."
Speaking of training camp, Graham has already gotten the heads up from the veterans about what to expect from an Andy Reid training camp that is even longer than normal this year.
It's going to be "hot and hard," Graham said. "It's a time to really start focusing and getting in that mindset that it's a business now and it's your job to go out there and try to win a championship."
Until then, Graham will take a short vacation in July and will continue working out to get in the best shape he can before the season starts. He'll also be studying the playbook non-stop so as to be as prepared as possible for whatever his role will be this season.
"I'll just be working out, getting ready and learning the plays," he said. "I've been writing everything down in my book so I'm going to make sure I'm on it when I'm in camp."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 6:50 a.m., June 11