CB Graham admits it’s difficult to keep focused during Super Bowl week

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff



(on his journey as a football player) “Amazing, amazing. You know, it’s been a long journey for me. I’ve had the opportunity to play for a lot of great teams and I’m fortunate to be here with the Baltimore Ravens and be in the Super Bowl.”


(on preparing for the Super Bowl) “You know we just, we try to make things the same, try to get used to being down here in New Orleans. It’s a different atmosphere. So we try to make things similar to what they would be every other game week and try to stay focused and continue to do things the way we need to do them to prepare for this game.”


(on whether or not he expected to be here) “When you get drafted to a team that’s in the Super Bowl the year before you get drafted, you kind of assume that you’re going to be here. Coming in I’m like, “Wow, it’s a great team. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get back to the Super Bowl,” and look at me now, 6 years later. This is my first opportunity. So I’m trying to embrace it. I’m trying to enjoy and make sure that I’m taking in everything that New Orleans has to offer and just trying to have fun, but then again prepare for the game and make sure that I’m ready, because that’s the most important thing.”


(on being at the podium next to Ray Lewis) “It’s funny how things work out. Now I’m in the Super Bowl getting the opportunity to play with him for this big game, especially knowing that this is the last year he’ll play football. Look at me now, at media day, sitting next to Ray Lewis. It’s just been amazing.”


(on being grateful to have the opportunity to play on defense) “That’s everybody’s hopes and dreams, that I would get an opportunity to go out there and play, even when I was in Chicago. That’s what they asked from me at the time was to go out there and play special teams. If that’s what they’re going to ask you, you go out there and do the best that you possibly can. I’m fortunate and happy that I’m finally getting the opportunity to show what I can do on defense. I always knew I could do it. But it’s good to show everybody else that I can do it, to show them that I can play out there and I deserve to be out there.”


(on any difference in preparation for the Super Bowl versus the regular season) “Coach is trying to keep everything the same. He wanted this to be as normal of a week as it could possibly be. Obviously being down here is going to be a little different because of all the stuff going on, all the family here and everything of that nature. He’s trying to keep it the same, with the same type of practices, the same preparation. Hopefully we’ll go out there and play the best we possibly can because we’ve prepared as best we possibly can.”


(on keeping focused this week) “It’s been very difficult, to be honest with you. Everybody in your phone book is calling you and asking you if they can get tickets to the Super Bowl. Everybody assumes they’re free. It’s a tough situation. I just tried to put it all off on my wife and let her handle all that, all the hard work. I just try to prepare and get ready for the game which is the most important thing. You come out here, and it’s a great thing, but we’re here for one reason and that’s the most important thing is to play the game and have a good game and hope we win the game.”


(on Randy Moss) “It’s Randy Moss man. He’s been a great in this game for so long. The things he’s been able to do have been outstanding. He’s still got some of that breakaway speed in his legs and he’s still doing a good job. You always have to be prepared and ready for a guy like Randy Moss, because you never know. He’s able to go over top and go deep all the time. I don’t know exactly what coach is going to do as far as that matchup, but we’re just looking to play ball. I don’t think we should have to double anybody if we go out there and ball out and do what we’re supposed to do. Whether it’s Randy Moss or anybody who is a guard that can make plays, I don’t think we’re going to be doing that much doubling.”


(on distractions at the Super Bowl) “Honestly, I’ve put most of that off on someone else. There’s going to be a lot of distraction, there’s going to be a lot of family members. They’re going to want you to do things, to go out to eat, to go here and go there. Just tell them you’re getting ready for a game or you have to prepare for the game as best you can. Put it off on your wife or your girlfriend or whoever you’ve got. Don’t try to do anything, just try to keep the week as normal as possible. Go about the week the same way you would if you were in Baltimore.”

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Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on Bernard Pollard’s comments on safety and rule changes in the league) “I don’t know as much about what Bernard was saying, but I did read it a little bit. It’s a tough situation. As a defensive player it’s tough on us. Pretty much you can’t hit anybody these days. You just have to find a way. Obviously player safety is important and as a player we know that that’s something we need to look into, but as a competitor also, you need to be able to play the game a little bit and it’s making it a lot tougher on us. When guys are going across the middle, when guys are catching balls, you’re scared to hit guys now because you never know what’s going to happen. It’s just such a small window for defenders to hit guys. I’m not saying it’s a problem, I’m just saying we need to find a way to meet somewhere in between.”


(on whether changing the strike zone will help safety concerns) “Yeah, the strike zone is small now. You can’t pretty much hit a guy anywhere. He’s defenseless at all times. If you think about it you’re pretty much defenseless anytime you’re catching the ball, so it’s tough. Obviously if you teach it to kids at a young age it might help a lot, because us growing up as kids, we didn’t care. You just hit a guy wherever you can hit him. Guys will get concussions and guys will get a long term effect from those hits, so we have to do something about it but as a defender, this league is very tough on us in finding ways to hit guys and tackle guys. I don’t want it to get to a point where everyone has to hit guys in the legs every time because they’re scared to hit guys up top. That’s just going to cause more injuries because guys are going to have torn ACLs and stuff like that. You don’t want guys going at full speed and chopping their legs out every time, but that’s what it’s going to come to.


(on his faith/religion) “We have a lot of guys on this team that believe in God a lot. They have a lot of faith. We have faith in each other. Every time we step out on the field we believe in what each other can do. We believe in the guy next to us. We believe in holding everybody accountable. We couldn’t do it if we didn’t have faith. We continue to believe in each other, and it’s gotten us this far. Your faith is always going to help you because you have to believe. Sometimes you’re going to be in tough situations where things might not be going your way, but it’s all types of trials and tribulations. For me, it was in college when I broke my ankle in the fifth game of my senior year. I didn’t know if I was ever going to play football again. I didn’t know if I was going to get drafted or to get picked up as a free agent or anything. At the time of my pro day I didn’t thing I was going to be able to run, but I was able to do it because I believed in myself and believed in God and he pushed me through it. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to play in this league.”


(on his team coming together over tough times) “Any situation where you’ve got guys in your organization or your team that are going through trials and tribulations, it’s going to bring guys together. We’re like brothers. We believe in each other. The guy next to you is the guy you lean on when you’re going through tough times. As a team and an organization we lean on each other and that’s what brings us together and makes us stronger.”


(on why things are different on the Ravens this time around) “Well, I was with the Chicago Bears for the past five years and coming here and being in Baltimore, I’ve seen that it’s a different group. It is an amazing group of people here. Guys believe in each other. Guys are accountable. Guys hold each other accountable. Guys trust each other. Guys do well for the guy next to them. It’s just a different group of guys. When you have people on your team like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Matt Birk – guys with so much faith and belief – it pushes you. It helps you be a better person. It helps you play to the best of your ability.”


(on San Francisco’s offense) “They have a dynamic offense and their quarterback is making a lot of plays for those guys. He’s able to run the ball. He can throw the ball very good, and he’s got a bunch of playmakers on offense with him. They’re a tough group to prepare for because they cause so much havoc in the way they run the ball or run the pistol or the option or things of that nature. You just have to prepare. Guys have to be gap sound and good with their assignments, but it’s a tough team to prepare for.”



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Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on whether or not San Francisco reminds him of any team in the AFC) “I don’t know about that but it’s very similar I would say to Washington. We were fortunate to play those guys this year and that’s a very similar offense with RG3 (Robert Griffin III) and the way he’s about to throw and run the ball with the dual threat. It’s very similar and you have to be gap sound, technique sound, and you have to play football.”


(on what he expects from San Francisco’s wide receivers) “A lot. The group is playing pretty good right now to be honest with you. They’ve got (Michael) Crabtree. He’s making a lot of plays. They’re got Randy Moss who is still a very good deep threat. They’ve also got a great group of tight ends. Vernon Davis and (Delanie) Walker, they’re both making a lot of plays out there. It’s a tough group to prepare for but we’ve been looking up a lot so we’ll continue to study them and do what we have to do to prepare for this game.”


(on his biggest challenge on the field) “Honestly my biggest challenge on the field, me personally, is my eyes. I have to pay attention to my guys. They do a lot of double moves and triple moves and things of that nature. When you’re in the slot, they do a lot of different stuff so I have to make sure I keep my eyes on my guy and don’t get too caught up in trying to make too many plays and jumping routes and stuff like that. Me as a defender, if I keep my eyes in the right place I’ll be successful.”


(prompted to answer questions like he’s hashtagging a tweet – one word answers) (Beyonce Knowles) “Fantastic.” (Winning the Super Bowl) “Epic.” (Your coach beating his brother) “A must.” (The one thing you won’t do while you’re in New Orleans) “Lose.”


(on growing up in Buffalo) “A lot of ups and downs. A lot of stuff going on. Everything wasn’t always peachy and great, so I think it just pushed me to be a harder person. I went through a lot of trials and tribulations but it’s made me a tougher person. I went through everything from my family, to bad injuries, to my brother being incarcerated, people being gone, my father not really involved in my life. It was a lot of stuff but it’s made me the person I am today.”


(on sharing this experience with his brother who is coming to watch the game) “It’s going to be outstanding. He’s the one who got me involved in football. He was the one since I was 5 years old who put a football into my hand and showed me how to play, (showed me) what to do and what not to do and how to work hard. He was the one who’s done everything for me and it’s great that he’s going to be here to enjoy this moment with me.”


(on being a city kid to make it to the NFL) “It’s not typically the guys from the city (who play in the NFL). They have the talent but most of the time they go to public schools and they don’t get the right education. Sometimes they get swarmed up in too much going on outside of football and I was fortunate. To be honest with you, it was probably my brother. He kept me away from all that. He made sure that I got good grades. He made sure that I went to the better schools. He made sure that I was doing the right thing, that I was working out, that I was training. He was the one that didn’t allow me to get caught up in some of the things that some of the kids in the city get caught up in in Buffalo. There was a lot going on around me with my family and my cousins and some of my friends, but I ignored that. I was at a basketball court or I was at the track, or I was at some type of camp. I was trying to get better and pushing towards my ultimate goal which was to play in the NFL. I was going to go to college no matter what.”

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