Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Brandon Graham

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Brandon Graham

December 21, 2011
“Great! Now that I’m hurt, I won’t have to wear green and white”
– Brandon Graham

After recording only one tackle last Sunday, Brandon Graham is being selected as the Former Michigan Athlete of the Week for mostly symbolic reasons. Graham started six of the 13 games in which he played last season, recording 13 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. That was until week 14 against the Cowboys when Graham suffered a torn ACL and subsequently underwent microfracture surgery, which kept him on the Injured Reserve until late October of this year. Consistent with an injury of that severity, Graham’s transition back to playing at a high level has not been seamless. And Philadelphia fans don’t like that.

As the 13th overall selection in the 2010 draft, Graham admits that he has not yet lived up to expectations. But Eagles fans are not a patient bunch and are directing some heat towards Graham, “chasing him off of Twitter” and bemoaning that his draft spot wasn’t used to instead select Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who, to his credit, has performed very well. “That’s why it’s tough for me, because I gotta see stuff like that,” said Graham, “and I know I’m like, I could be that.’ I know what I can do. Just to see Pierre-Paul is balling, doing his thing, it’s tough on me…I don’t even worry about it because I’ve got three years and I’ve got a chance to prove myself and they know what I can do.” Graham continues to work hard and tweet. His Eagles hold a 6-8 record yet still have an outside chance of making the playoffs by winning the unimpressive NFC East.

Honorable Mention: Tom Brady threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions as the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos and Tim “he just wins games” Tebow by a score of 41-23. Brady added a touchdown on the ground which was followed by an emphatic spike as New England improved to an 11-3 record. Brady has thrown for 4,593 yards this season and is on pace to break Dan Marion’s single-season passing record of 5,084 yards. That’s if Drew Brees, who’s thrown for 4,780 yards, doesn’t beat him to it. But Brees’ season total through the air may be adversely impacted by Coach Sean Payton, who unlike Belichick, has shown a tendency to rest his star players on the final week of the season if his team’s playoff seeding has already been determined. Go Brady.

Miscellaneous: Jake Long sat out against the Bills, which broke his 60 game start streak. Morgan Trent now plays for Jacksonville and saw action last week. Jay Feely hit a game winning field goal on Sunday against the Browns.

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