The Chicago Bears added two veterans to help set a tone in practice
When the Chicago Bears gave Jimmy Graham top ten tight end money, many laughed at the decision. To be fair, that is a lot of money for Graham, who is older, has had a serious injury in his past, and is coming off of some of his worst statistical years.
However, while the Bears absolutely believe that they can get more out Graham than the Green Bay Packers with some different usage, and they love his size, they also see more to the signing than that.
Graham has brought a presence to practice that Matt Nagy has been energetic about in his interviews. Graham is spiking balls after big catches, and getting into it with Deon Bush after the play. Nagy appreciates the intensity.
"“He is motivated not only to do well for himself, but to help the other guys on the team,” Nagy exclaimed. “You can feel it in the huddle, you can feel his energy and his next play mentality.”"
Graham has also taken Cole Kmet under his wing, and the two have formed a strong relationship early despite a clear age difference.
Graham is setting a tone for the opposing players, and the players in his room. However, he is not the only veteran making an impact due to his presence off of the field and in practice.
Many think Ted Ginn was a bust because he did not live up to his draft slot. However, he was drafted in 2007 and is still in the NFL. He is doing something right. His presence in a wide receiver that needs Anthony Miller, Darnell Mooney, Javon Wims, and Riley Ridley to step up is noted.
Nick Foles talked about the energy that Ginn brings to the offense, and how his play in and play out demeanor gives the offense energy. Foles raved that Ginn ran the longest routes, but sprinted back to the huddle faster than anyone every single rep he was out there. He was always running back and was never walking during practice.
These are two players who come off as old and who once mattered. However, these players have established long NFL careers for a reason and the Chicago Bears are excited for their work ethic to pay off on the rest of the group.