New Ravens corner back Corey Graham has always been comfortable being called a special-teamer.
It’s difficult to not know him as anything else.
Graham, a 2011 Pro-Bowler in that facet of the game for the Chicago Bears-was brought in by the Ravens over the weekend to aid in that area of expertise.
But this year with the Ravens-who brought the 26-year old corner back out of New Hampshire in on a two-year contract Friday-said he’s wanting to prove to the coaching staff that he can do more to help this Ravens defense as well.
He joined Glenn Clark Monday on ‘The Reality Check”, and said he can’t wait to contribute for John Harbaugh, special teams coach Jerry Rosburg and his new Ravens teammates.
“I think they’ve done a great job this off-season with bringing in guys like myself,” Graham said humbly. “I think we got a great group now with the guys we added.”
Graham joins fellow safety Sean Considine and ex-Ravens Brendon Ayanbadejo and Jameel McClain as additions in this 2012 off-season, and Graham feels like the plan is in place to fix the teams issue from a year ago.
“I think we got a group now with the guys we added,” Graham told Clark. “The pieces add up and the more guys you get, it definitely helps.”
The Ravens-who came within one catch of going to the Super Bowl last season-didn’t have a lot of fundamental issues, but if there was one glaring weakness on the team, special .
They ranked near the bottom of the league in that category, and Graham said Harbaugh-a former special teams coach-reached out to him in the hopes of solving some of those woes.
“The Ravens did really well last year, but I think the special teams hurt them in certain aspects,” Graham said. “I just want to go out there and play the game.”
“I’m happy Baltimore saw what they saw in me, so that I can go out there and help.”
And Graham can help. Anywhere on special teams.
“I’m the gunner on punt and safety on punt return. I’ve played the “two” on kickoffs, and the right tackle on kick returns. I’ve done it all.”
“I’m a four-phase guy. I was always on the field and trying to get out there and help as much as I could.”
But what drove Graham to move on from the only team he’s known in his short NFL career?
He said the passion for the game on the part of his new Ravens teammates is well-known around the NFL.
“When you see the tradition of the Baltimore Ravens and the way they go out there and play, they play so much with so much emotion. That’s one of the things that drew me to this team.”
He mentioned the reputation of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis in the Ravens locker room, and he said that their approach and preparation for the game speak for themselves.
So much so-that he hopes to offer his Pro-Bowl skills in more than just special teams-he wants and desires to contribute on defense as well.
He saw considerable playing time in 2011 in Chicago as a nickel-back, and he wants to continue to have those opportunities with a defense in Baltimore.
Graham said he hopes to follow the model set last year from his former teammate with the Bears in Brendon Ayanbadejo in taking snaps in more than just kick and punt coverage.
“At the beginning of my second year, I started a lot of my games at corner. In my third year, I was able to play a few games at nickel and this past season, I was also fortunate enough to start three games at that nickel position, and make some plays on defense.”
In 16 games last year, Graham registered 13 tackles and grabbed three interceptions.
He says he can fit right in with what Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Dean Pees have in store for the 2012 Ravens defense.
“I love the way this defense plays,” Graham said with excitement. “There is a lot of disguising. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are doing a lot of things out there.”
“I think those guys have a lot of fun, and it’s something I want to be a part of.”
WNST thanks Corey Graham for joining us Monday and welcome him to Baltimore! Check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault for the entire conversation with your newest Raven! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!