Exchanging texts and a phone call or two with the rest of his draft class did little to ease the anxiety defensive end Brandon Graham felt missing the first three days of training camp. He wanted to be at Lehigh University. Business came first, though, and once Graham and the Eagles agreed to terms on a five-year contract on Thursday night, the team's first-round pick from the University of Michigan felt like hollering just a bit.
"Oh man, I can't tell you how excited I am to get there and get it going," said Graham from Michigan, where he was training in preparation for his first training camp. "I had talked with Daniel (Te-o'Nesheim) and Eric (Moncur) and they were keeping me up to date. I didn't want it to seem like I felt I was better than anybody else. I left it all to my agent (Joel Segal) and I thank him and the Eagles for making this happen and getting me in after missing just a little bit of work.
"I'll be there when the whole team practices for the first time, and that's big for me. I want to show the coaches that I'm ready and that I've been staying on top of what I need to do and that I'm ready to go."
Graham, for whom the Eagles traded up to take with the 13th pick in April's draft, is expected to push for playing time as a rookie. He took part in the post-draft camps and now looks to accelerate his game when the pads go on.
"It's going to be a lot of work and I'm ready for that. It's my job. I have high expectations and I know that I have the challenge ahead," he said. "I've been studying my plays, working on my game. I can't wait to get out there."
Graham leaves from Detroit early on Friday morning and should arrive at Lehigh in time for the afternoon practice. He is expected to meet the media at some point on Friday during what promises to be an exhausting, and memorable, day.
"It's time to get it going," he said. "I'm just glad it is all done. I wanted to get there on time. That was my first priority."
You can find out more about Graham in his own words here on his rookie spotlight.
-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, 10:48 p.m., July 29