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Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham is ready to show his game is more than just pass catching

Known for his pass-catching skills, new Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham says he’s excited to contribute to the running game.

Jimmy Graham sized up the skinny reporter asking the question and offered a humorous response.

"How would you assess yourself as a blocker?" Graham was asked.

"Me? I can show you," Graham said with a laugh.

Throughout his decorated career in New Orleans, Graham was listed as a tight end, but played more like an oversized receiver. Graham was rarely asked to do much blocking in a pass-heavy offense, and he was regularly guarded by opposing teams' top cornerbacks or safeties, frequently facing double teams.

In Seattle, however, Graham will be asked to be a more complete tight end playing for an offense that focuses on balance. In other words, Graham will have to prove himself as a blocker against more formidable foes than a skinny, bespectacled reporter. And while Graham didn't have to do a lot of blocking in New Orleans, he is confident that won't be a problem with his new team.

"Listen, man, I'm 270 pounds; I can block anybody I want to," Graham said, still amused by the question. "It's all about want-to, so we'll see come this first Sunday."

Graham believes in his ability to block, but that doesn't mean he isn't working to improve that area of his game. Over draft weekend last month, offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable noted he had already talked with Graham over breakfast a couple of times and praised the tight end's desire to improve his blocking.

"He's really committed to wanting to learn," Cable said.

"Personally, I am excited to block," Graham said. "…That's really what I've been focusing on since I got here, just learning that aspect, because for me the routes and the passing offense obviously comes natural. So for me it's focusing on what they're trying to do here as far as the run game, which is the staple of this offense, and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Graham, who caught 85 passes or more in each of his last four seasons in New Orleans, realizes his targets will almost certainly decrease in Seattle's offense, but in addition to making the most of the targets he does get, Graham also realizes that he can make an impact on a rushing attack that was the best in the NFL last season. And if Marshawn Lynch and company are running the ball effectively, that also should make for some more favorable matchups for Graham when he does get the ball thrown his direction.

"I'm going to do what they tell me to do, and if that's go out and score, go out and catch or go out and hit somebody, I'm going to do it," Graham said.

"These last couple of years for me, I was playing against guys who aren't concerned about the run at all… For me it's just going to make my job easier when it comes to the pass game."

The Seahawks hit the field again on a sunny Monday to continue organized team activity.

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