BRANDON GRAHAM has fled Twitter lately, Graham said yesterday, because he is tired of fans' critical comparisons with Giants defensive end (and NFC defensive player of the week) Jason Pierre-Paul.
"It's ridiculous, how bad the fans are, saying how they wish they had JPP," Graham said following yesterday's practice. "I understand, 'cause I haven't done anything. I got nothing to say. That's why I've been laying low, just can't wait to erupt."
But Graham also said he isn't sure he will get another chance to erupt this season, his second in the NFL, after having been drafted 13th overall in 2010, two slots ahead of Pierre-Paul. Graham said his interpretation of Eagles coach Andy Reid's remarks Monday, when Reid said, "Brandon's future is very bright," after deactivating Graham at Miami, was that Graham's chance would come next season.
On Monday, Graham celebrated the 1-year anniversary of his ACL injury, which led to a repair plus microfracture surgery. He missed training camp and sat out the first eight games this season recovering. Graham played in two games, experienced some knee swelling, and hasn't played a down since. He said he feels his knee is 100 percent now.
Graham surely would love to be able to show everyone, and himself, that he is the player the Eagles thought he was when they traded up in the 2010 draft. He had three sacks in 13 games as a rookie, not that far behind Pierre-Paul, who had 4 1/2 in 16 games.
"I think about that every day, just for me . . . Once I start doing something, the fans are going to be back on it. I just really want to do it for me. I know what I can do. I know I can help this team. That's all I'm trying to do," Graham said. "I hope I at least get one shot, at least break the ice, get something going, make a play, just to make me feel good."
Graham, who said he met Pierre-Paul at the NFL Scouting Combine their draft year, said he certainly can find no fault with Pierre-Paul's 12 1/2-sack performance.
"That boy been ballin'. I can't say nothing," Graham said.
Eagles corner Joselio Hanson and defensive end Trent Cole confirmed their $15,000 fines for hits last Sunday on Miami quarterback J.P. Losman.
Cole's hefty fine wasn't that big of a surprise, given that he has been docked several times for quarterback hits, and was flagged Sunday for going low on Losman, while Cole was on the ground. That's always a fine.
"Am I just supposed to sit there and watch him?" Cole asked. He said he will appeal.
Hanson said he was very surprised to be fined for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Losman, which came late in the game. Hanson said the NFL interpreted his leap to try to block a pass as launching himself at Losman to deliver a blow.
"I'm 5-9, he's [listed at 6-2]. His arm's up here; I've got to get up at the arm," Hanson said. "I run up and try to jump at him, they say helmet to helmet."
Hanson said he also would appeal.
Meanwhile, defensive end Darryl Tapp did not know whether Dolphins tackle Nate Garner got any sort of fine for blasting Tapp well after the end of a play in the Miami end zone Sunday, leaving Tapp with a broken rib. Tapp did not practice yesterday but said he still hopes to play Sunday against the Jets.
"I had slipped and missed a sack, was on all fours," Tapp recalled. "My foot was planted on the ground. He caught me, kind of grabbed my arm a little bit and torqued me."
Cedric Thornton, an undrafted rookie defensive tackle from Southern Arkansas, caught the eye of Eagles coaches with a strong training camp and preseason, and began the season on the practice squad. This week, he's finally on the 53-man roster, following the placing of wideout Steve Smith on IR. "I don't feel any different," Thornton said. "I try not to stress the fact that I'm going to be playing this week, just try to attack it like I do every week, go hard. I always practice like I'm going to be playing anyway." Thornton said that approach will keep him from being rusty, if he gets to play against the Jets . . . Michael Vick (ribs), Todd Herremans (ankle), Cullen Jenkins (groin) and Darryl Tapp (ribs) missed practice. Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) was limited.