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Brandon Graham

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September 15, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
The Eagles drafted Brandon Graham 13th overall with their 2010 first-round draft choice. It's been a struggle for Graham. Here is how he compares with the five defensive players taken after him in the first round of that draft: 13. EAGLES - Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan Started 12 of 49 games, 111/2 sacks, 67 tackles 14. SEAHAWKS - Earl Thomas, FS, Texas 3 Pro Bowls, 15 interceptions, twice first-team All-Pro, Super Bowl champion last...
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November 25, 2015 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
THANKSGIVING in Detroit is less than optimal for just about everyone traveling with the Eagles this week, except outside linebacker Brandon Graham, who grew up there. The Lions play every year on Turkey Day. "I always used to say I wanted to play for the Lions on Thanksgiving," Graham said. "Now that I'm playing against 'em on Thanksgiving, it's just that much sweeter, because I've got so many people in my family that are Lions fans. "To go out there and give 'em an 'L' and then go eat some food with 'em, it's going to be great.
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April 3, 2013 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brandon Graham did not confirm the widespread belief that he will play outside linebacker for the Eagles this season. But it sounds as if he's preparing for a switch from defensive end to a stand-up pass rusher. Speaking on the second day of the Eagles' offseason program, Graham said he did not know what position he will play. Asked if he's inquired, he said that the team just started the program Monday and that he would have a better idea as minicamp approaches. "There's been a lot of talk about a lot of things," Graham said Tuesday.
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June 10, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
To begin his transformation into an every-down linebacker, Brandon Graham met with his new position coach before the 2013 season and found something that had eluded him through his first three years in the NFL: support. Bill McGovern, the Eagles' outside linebackers coach, had watched film of Graham and determined that there was something more to him than just another defensive end who liked to chase quarterbacks. In the 3-4 scheme that Chip Kelly preferred, Graham would be a better fit as a linebacker.
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December 19, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
Like most pass-rushers, Brandon Graham likes a quarterback who's easy to find. Tom Brady. Eli Manning. Carson Palmer. He'd rather line up across from those quarterbacks, as accomplished and skilled as they are, than he would against one who can scurry and scramble and will abandon the pocket for the sake of saving himself and extending the play. Graham is one of the Eagles' two starting outside linebackers. He's tied for the team lead in sacks with 61/2. He prefers an immobile target.
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April 4, 2013 | By Marcus Hayes, Daily News Staff Writer
WHICH VERSION of Madonna is best, the Material Girl or the Kabbalah Mama? How about Cher: Sonny Bono's half-breed gypsy on horseback or Richie Sambora's scantily clad siren on the warship? Changing times and eroding taste long have forced talents from Jewel to Janet Jackson to recreate themselves. In less than a decade, the fickle fates of football have forced Brandon Graham to remake himself as often as any '80s pop diva. Those relaunches don't always work. Graham's career might not survive this overhaul.
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May 31, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Brandon Graham wonders sometimes how his first six seasons with the Eagles might have been different if not for the revolving door that welcomed and discarded defensive coordinators. "Especially that last year when coach [Andy] Reid was here," Graham said last week after a practice session at the NovaCare Complex. "It was my first time starting after my injury and I ended up getting 51/2 sacks and I really felt like I was headed in the right direction. And then, bam, here comes the 3-4. " Few members of the Eagles have fond memories of that 2012 season, which was Reid's last in Philadelphia.
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August 9, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brandon Graham started his confession on Friday by revealing his goal is "double-digit sacks" this year – a worthwhile ambition for a player whose career-high is 5.5 sacks in a season and has 17 sacks during a five-year career. But the two digits Graham said he wants have never been achieved in NFL history: 32 sacks. "My goal is two a game," Graham said. When informed that would be almost 10 more than the NFL's single-season record - Michael Strahan had 22.5 in 2001 - the Eagles linebacker did not curb his enthusiasm for such a lofty standard.
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December 19, 2012 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brandon Graham's locker is next to Fletcher Cox's locker. Cox said the two never discuss the link that defines the way both are viewed in Philadelphia, as former first-round picks so coveted that the Eagles traded up in the draft to get them. But it's an inescapable label. And it's one both have lived up to in recent games. A defensive end, Graham was the No. 13 overall selection in 2010. Cox, a defensive tackle, went 12th in 2012. They are the two highest picks the Eagles have made since 2000.
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June 5, 2016 | By Les Bowen, STAFF WRITER
BRANDON GRAHAM said that when he talks or texts with Fletcher Cox, he is careful not to ask when Cox plans to report for duty with the Eagles. "I try to be a friend and not really talk to him about that. I don't want him to think I'm the police," Graham said Friday as the Eagles wrapped up the optional part of their spring work. Players gather Monday for physicals, before a mandatory three-day minicamp starts Tuesday. Those are the last sessions before training camp, and the only mandatory part of the offseason setup.
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May 31, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Brandon Graham wonders sometimes how his first six seasons with the Eagles might have been different if not for the revolving door that welcomed and discarded defensive coordinators. "Especially that last year when coach [Andy] Reid was here," Graham said last week after a practice session at the NovaCare Complex. "It was my first time starting after my injury and I ended up getting 51/2 sacks and I really felt like I was headed in the right direction. And then, bam, here comes the 3-4. " Few members of the Eagles have fond memories of that 2012 season, which was Reid's last in Philadelphia.
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May 27, 2016 | By Paul Domowitch, STAFF WRITER
THE WORDS that have been used to describe Marcus Smith during his first two NFL seasons haven't been very flattering. Bust. Mistake. Disappointment. He has seen them on social media. He has read them online and in the newspapers. He has heard them on the radio and at the Linc on game day. Bust. Mistake. Disappointment. Imagine somebody doing that to you. Imagine them coming to your place of employment, insulting you and telling you in very explicit language that you suck.
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May 13, 2016 | By Jeff McLane, STAFF WRITER
When the Eagles switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense in 2013, only two of eight regulars on the line had any NFL experience playing in an odd-man front. The unit, as coordinator Bill Davis explained it, was going from one end of the spectrum (a wide-nine-based 4-3) to the other (a two-gap-based 3-4). He preached patience, but even Mother Teresa would have been tested by a transition that ultimately fell short of expectations. Three years later, the Eagles are making the trip back to a wide-nine-based 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
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April 21, 2016 | By Paul Domowitch, Staff Writer
THE LAST TIME the Wide 9 was seen in these parts, it was helping grease the skids for Andy Reid's firing and being excoriated as a bad-awful defensive alignment that seemingly sacrificed everything else for the sake of sacks. The Wide 9, a deployment in which the defensive ends line up near the mezzanine-level concession stands so they can burn rubber around the offensive tackles and beat them to the quarterback, was brought to the Eagles in 2011 by Jim Washburn, who was hired as the team's defensive line coach shortly after Reid came up with the really, really dumb idea to make his longtime offensive line coach, Juan Castillo, his new defensive coordinator.
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February 5, 2016 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Jim Johnson referred to defensive linemen who could get after the quarterback as "fastballs," and the former Eagles coordinator liked to throw as many of them as he could. Vinny Curry, whose singular identifiable NFL skill is that he can cause an awful lot of havoc in the backfield, would have been Johnson's kind of guy. There are some other things at which he might not be as proficient, but for a defensive coach who believes the most important job is making the opposing quarterback uncomfortable, Curry is a valuable card to hold.
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January 6, 2016 | By Les Bowen, Staff Writer
AS THE Eagles struggled through three seasons of their Chip Kelly-dictated 3-4 defense, there was always speculation about whether they'd be better off running a 4-3 setup, as they did for 14 years under Andy Reid. It was useless speculation, because Kelly wanted his offense to work against a single high safety 3-4, the defense he thought was the toughest match for an attack that tried to spread the field from sideline to sideline. Even if Kelly had jettisoned defensive coordinator Bill Davis somewhere along the way, as so many fans urged, Kelly would have burdened Davis' successor with the same system.
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January 3, 2016 | By Les Bowen, Staff Writer
I COME TO bury lame-duck Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis, but also to praise him, something that no doubt will enrage Eagles fans who are sure Davis is a main reason their team missed the playoffs the past two seasons. Davis' group disintegrated in the second half of this, his third season on the job. The Birds' "D" was never really strong at any point in the Chip Kelly-Davis era, but the ugly numbers the Eagles put up down the stretch this season - with what should have been Davis' most talented cast, best-suited to his 3-4 scheme - are historic.
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December 31, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marcus Smith played only 91 defensive snaps for the Eagles this season. He has five tackles and one-half sack. The 2014 first-round pick only had one tackle as a rookie. "Marcus has got to continue to get better," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said Tuesday. "There hasn't been a whole lot of production yet. We're still working and Marcus is working hard at it and hopefully we can get some production from him. " The Eagles used a three-man rotation at outside linebacker last season with Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, and Brandon Graham.
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December 31, 2015 | BY ED BARKOWITZ, Staff Writer
THERE IS much more to coaching in the NFL than X's and O's, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said Wednesday afternoon, some 16 hours following Jeffrey Lurie's stunning move to fire coach Chip Kelly. "The league," as Graham calls it, is a constant struggle among alpha males for power and respect. Throw the big salaries around and who knows what chaos could ensue? When he wins, the coach has cachet. When he loses, the daggers come out. So if Graham had his way, Lurie's next coach will have some NFL experience - something Kelly did not have before his hiring in January 2013.
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