He’s no longer ‘the other Graham.’
Now, though, Cameron Graham has to fight the perception that he is nothing more than the other guy among Tennessee Titans tight ends. Craig Stevens, after all, is a devastating blocker who also can get down field and catch the ball when needed. Jared Cook has the size, speed and hands that make him a high-end receiving threat. And rookie Taylor Thompson is a converted defensive end whose raw ability has coaches dreaming up the best way to tap into his potential.
Then there is Graham, who spent all of last season on the practice squad but has yet to make a name for himself.
“He’s a guy who is battling for a spot on the team,” offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. “We’re very pleased with Thompson. I think he’s done some things that are exceptional, but there is a battle there.”
Part of the problem last season was that the Titans’ third tight end was veteran Daniel Graham. That prompted teammates to refer to Cameron as ‘the other Graham’ or ‘the fake Graham.”
The Titans waived Daniel Graham early in the offseason.
“I liked having Daniel Graham around me,” Cameron Graham said. “He was a nice influence on my career and my rookie year. It’s not really about ‘the other Graham.’ It’s about me maturing as a player and getting better in my second year.”
Typically, the active roster includes just three tight ends. Barring injury, Stevens’ and Cook’s spots are secure. Given the pre-draft interest in Thompson, whom the Titans selected after a trade to move up in the fifth round, it seems unlikely Tennessee could get him to the practice squad without some other franchise claiming him — even if it wanted to.
That leaves Graham, a three-year starter at Louisville, trying to carve out a spot.
“I want to come out and show that I’ve improved,” he said. “Last year I was on the practice squad. This year I want to make the 53. So I just have to keep making plays. Keep doing my job and just having fun out there.
“… I’m just going to keep coming out every day and playing my hardest. However things work out that’s how it is. I have no control over how the tight ends … how we rotate or anything like that.”
• Day of rest: After two days of hitting and four straight days of practice, players will be off Wednesday. Only those with injury issues will be required to be at the facility.
“Guys are definitely allowed to come in and do rehab, come get in the hot tub, cold tub,” coach Mike Munchak said. “If they want to go home, guys that have family here, may go for a swim. It’s just to kind of get a chance to get away from it for a day and digest what we’ve gone through. We’ve gotten off to a good start.”
The next rest for the players will be Tuesday, a day after they practice with the Atlanta Falcons at Dalton, Ga.
“I think the schedule works out well for it that way that we’ll be as fresh as we can be,” Munchak said. “You’re going to be worn out from camp. There’s no way around it. You’re going to have to fight through the soreness, fight through the tiredness, fight through fatigue, not give into things that are easy to give into.”
• Upcoming public workouts:
Thursday: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Friday: 3 – 5 p.m.
Monday: 4:30 – 7 p.m. (EDT), joint session with Falcons at Dalton, Ga.
Tuesday: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 3 – 5 p.m.
Thursday: 3:15 – 5:15 p.m.