Jimmy Graham made news before Saturday’s NFL Divisional playoff game between the Seahawks and Saints even started.
Graham, the New Orleans tight end, was involved in a brief altercation with Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin that mostly amounted to shouted words and pointed fingers.
Afterward, Graham said Irvin “tried to disrespect me, and I’m not going to let nobody disrespect me.”
Asked to expand upon that, Graham declined.
He was much quieter once the game started. Graham caught just one pass for eight yards, a catch on New Orleans’ final possession serving as his only production. Graham, who caught 86 passes for 1,214 yards this season, wasn’t sure if the Seahawks’ defense was to blame for his lack of catches.
“I’m not sure if it’s something they did,” Graham said. “Drew’s (Brees) going to throw to the open guy, and if you’ve got people on you, he’s not going to throw you the ball.
Seattle’s defense, he said, showed him “a lot of different looks. Some of my routes were kind of underneath, so progression wise, maybe not me. When the ball comes my way I’ve got to make a play. Some of the calls I feel like were a little different. But that’s just how it is.”
Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said after the victory that the pregame altercation added to the his desire to limit Graham’s productivity.
“We just wanted to stop him and he was talking a lot of trash before the game, too,” Wagner said. “So that kind of added an extra incentive.”