Jimmy Graham’s debut with the Chicago Bears didn’t go without a hitch, and it certainly did not get off to a fast start. The 11-year veteran eventually warmed up, however, catching one of three Mitchell Trubisky touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to help lead a 17-point comeback against the Detroit Lions.
Graham caught three passes for 25 yards and a score, but it took him — and the team — a little while to get going. After a canceled preseason and one of the more unusual offseasons in recent memory, the Bears finally took the field, eking out a win in a tough divisional game on the road. Graham told the media afterwards that while he was thrilled about the victory, he has some work to do moving forward.
“Unbelievable finish,” Graham said, noting the Bears had to shake off a bit of rust before they got things moving offensively. “I’ve never played in a game with that type of atmosphere. It is very awkward and very difficult at first.”
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Jimmy Graham on His Ill-Timed Jumps: ‘I Got to Make Those Plays’
With his size and experience, Graham could be quite the red zone threat for Chicago, and that showed in the fourth quarter. But his timing was off early on, which led to some missed opportunities. His stat line could have been quite a bit heftier, and he knows it. Still, the veteran tight end mis-timed a few jumps on passes from Trubisky, but he owned his mistakes after the game, and he also promised they wouldn’t happen again.
“I hold myself to a high standard. Earlier in that first half, you know, I got to make those plays. And I will moving forward. I guarantee that.”
Graham added that he took his responsibility as a leader in the tight ends room seriously, saying he wanted to lead by example.
“I’m kind of eating myself up about it because if I make those plays, the game wouldn’t even be that close. I’ve gotta make those plays, I’ve got to lead my room and make sure I hold myself accountable.”
After the game Jimmy Graham was hard on himself about not coming up with this catch. He said he was going to be fully accountable in the TE room this week and vow to be better. He finished with 3 catches and a TD. pic.twitter.com/pwEoffjx5Y
— Bears Barroom (@BearsBarroom) September 14, 2020
Graham Lauds Trubisky’s Leadership Skills
For the first three quarters, the Bears looked completely inept on offense. They converted just two of 11 third downs all game, and that rust Graham spoke of was evident on both sides of the ball.
Then, the fourth quarter happened, and Trubisky came alive. “Mitch led us. He made some huge throws, had some great moments. It’s pretty special. The kid wants it, the kid believes,” Graham said about the fourth-year quarterback. He also added that despite the miraculous comeback win, the Bears weren’t happy about their performance.
“Nobody’s satisfied,” Graham said, noting he and his teammates still had loads of work to do.
Things should run more smoothly with the offense as they get the chance to work with each other more. But for now, let’s just bask in the team’s first Week 1 victory since 2013, while hoping Graham makes good on his guarantee.
You can watch Graham’s full post-game interview below: