New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was glad to end up on the same Pro Bowl team as the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten.
Witten and Graham were both drafted by Team Irvin and Graham, one of the best of a new breed of ultra-athletic tight end, took the opportunity to tell the veteran that he considers him a role model--and not just because he’s been among the best of the best at the position for over a decade and has the 10 Pro Bowl nods to prove it.
“First thing I told him is that he’s an idol for me,” Graham said of Witten. “Him, on and off the field. Not only how he’s so consistent and him as a pro in the pass game and run game, but what he does for his community and his city. It’s been inspiring for me, and it’s something I try to emulate as much as I can.”
Witten, who was named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2012, for his excellence on the field as well as his volunteer and charity work off the field, was honored by Graham’s words.
“Really, that’s what you play for--to have guys like that, who are the best of the best that come to you and say, ‘Hey, we respect you,’” Witten said of Graham. “He’s a young, bright star. He told me that (Wednesday) night that on the field he’s always watched me and off the field as well. And I’m glad that he views me like that. I’m really honored that he feels that way.”
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