Pederson on Graham: ‘He’s a Philadelphia Eagle first, and he’s the player second’

Eagles DE Brandon Graham has been around Philadelphia for a long time. He is the longest-tenured Eagles player on defense. But, things did not start out that great for Graham, who was the 13th pick by the Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft. Graham struggled earlier in his career, and many criticized the Eagles for passing on S Earl Thomas and selecting Graham in that draft.

However, over time, Graham got better, and ultimately, made one of the biggest plays in franchise history when he stripped Tom Brady in Super Bowl 52, which led to the Eagles defeating New England 41-33.

Now in his 10th season, Graham, 31, who led the team with 8.5 sacks this season, has become one of the leaders, and on Sunday, Philadelphia will need his leadership as they battle the Seahawks in the Wild-Card game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has been impressed with the way Graham has been encouraging his teammates before games, and because of that, Graham will be one of the team captains on Sunday.

“He’s a great leader,” Pederson said about Graham on Friday. “In fact, he’s going to be one of my captains this weekend just because of that. It just says a lot about who he is. He’s a Philadelphia Eagle first, and he’s the player second. He leads more by example than anything else.

“And on top of that, he plays through injury, he plays hurt, and we get a lot of production out of him. To be able to play at a high level that he has throughout his — the last — since I’ve been here anyway — the last four seasons, he’s another one that’s pretty special to have on the team.”

 Philadelphia ended the 2019 season on a roll, as they won four straight to end the season. Although injuries have decimated this team, they seem to have a lot of confidence entering the playoffs, and maybe with Graham’s leadership, Philadelphia can get past the Seahawks and keep their season alive on Sunday. 

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