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Seahawks’ Jimmy Graham says he feels ‘almost 100 times’ better in 2017

Jimmy Graham's 923 receiving yards last season were third-most among NFL tight ends. (AP)
LISTEN: Jimmy Graham says he feels 'almost 100 times' better in 2017

In an interview with John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle, Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham said he feels “almost 100 times” better now than he did around this time a year ago, when he was rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon.

Graham said it wasn’t until June of last year that he could begin jogging after knee surgery to repair the injury, which occurred in November of 2015, his first season with the Seahawks. He said he gave “pretty much everything I had” just to be able to play in games last season, which included rehabbing twice a day, even on his days off.

He called the rehab “an absolute grind.”

“We were able to literally make it through last year,” Graham said. “So now I just have a different perspective on everything. Really, now I’m just not trying to make it. Now it’s trying to improve, trying to improve the chemistry with (quarterback Russell Wilson), trying to improve the chemistry with our O-line and with the blocking up front. To be able to do that now is just tenfold of what it was last year.”

Graham caught 65 passes for 923 yards (which was third among NFL tight ends) and six touchdowns last season. He didn’t miss a game and was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

Graham, 30, is entering the final year of his contract. He said he feels quicker, faster and more flexible now that he’s down to 260 pounds after playing at 280 last season. He said the reason for his weight loss was advice he got a few years ago from former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez, who told him: “The older you get, you’ve got to shave a little weight.”