PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Work ethic is something that separates the good athletes, from the great ones.
Brandon Graham, the Eagles 13th overall pick in 2010, admits it took him few years to develop the necessary work ethic of a successful NFL player. His teammate Carson Wentz — the Eagles’ rookie quarterback — is already headed for greatness.
“For him, it’s just the confidence is knowing the plays,” Graham said of Wentz (278 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs in his NFL debut on Sunday) on Wednesday’s 94WIP Morning Show. “And I think he knew the plays the first month he got there because he’s been invested in this game. Even now, I bet you right now he’s up there at the facility — he’s probably been there since 5 [a.m.]. Because I’m up there early every day, and to see him up there before me — and I get there at 5:45 [a.m.] — the car looks like it’s kinda cold as far as you see the steam from the car and stuff like that.
Listen: Brandon Graham on the 94WIP Morning Show
“I think Carson is definitely headed in the right direction because his confidence level is totally up and I think wants he figured out what the coaches wanted, how did they want certain things run on certain plays, I think for him the rest was history.”
Graham struggled early in his career, tearing his ACL in Week 14 of his rookie year and playing just three games the following season. However, thanks to former teammate Trent Cole and plenty of haters, Graham fought back to become a dominant defensive player.
“When I got hurt I took some time to kind of learn myself a little more,” Graham said. “And I knew that I wasn’t taking care of my body enough, especially at young age. For me, I took those words from Trent Cole. For me, man, I just continue to keep coming every day and I ended up having that chip on my shoulder. And then, thanks to the Eagles fans that kinda bashed me in the beginning, they gave me that big chip. And for me, I just never want to lose that again.”
In the Eagles’ 29-10 season opening win over the Browns, Graham started the 2016 campaign with a sack, a tackle for a loss, and two quarterback hits. He has become a fan favorite in Philadelphia.