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Eagles' Graham has winning attitude regarding Schwartz

BRANDON GRAHAM thinks he once won a bet for Jim Schwartz, which might have some bearing on the coordinator's fondness for the defensive end he was happy to inherit from Chip Kelly and Bill Davis last winter.

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham.Read moreYong Kim / Staff Photographer

BRANDON GRAHAM thinks he once won a bet for Jim Schwartz, which might have some bearing on the coordinator's fondness for the defensive end he was happy to inherit from Chip Kelly and Bill Davis last winter.

As Schwartz reminded reporters Thursday, Schwartz was head coach of the Lions in 2010, and his staff coached the North team at the Senior Bowl. Graham, then a Michigan star, was named the game's most valuable player.

Graham said he overheard a conversation between Schwartz and another coach before the game. " 'Who you got this game?' " Graham said the other coach asked. "(Schwartz) said, 'I'll go with my defensive end.' It was kinda cool, because the whole week he'd been just hard, hard core. That's just how he is."

In fact, earlier that week, Detroit native Graham recalled thinking, "Lord, don't let me go to the Lions," because he didn't know how to take Schwartz's gruff manner.

Graham said he came to feel the week with Schwartz helped him a lot, and he enjoys playing for him now. Even though "you never know what he's thinking, whether he's about to go off on you or (praise you). He just MAD .

"I love Schwartz, though. He's an honest guy, gonna shoot you straight. All he wants is guys that love football just as much as him. He's been putting us in great situations . . . You want to go out there and play for a guy like that."

Graham has been a consistent presence in the opposition backfield through the first two games.

"He's always been a good rusher . . . he's compact, he's strong, he plays with great effort," Schwartz said. "Got to coach him at the Senior Bowl. We saw it firsthand. He's a tough matchup for some offensive tackles.

"Just watching the film last year, he gave some of the offensive linemen or offensive tackles in our own division, he gave those guys a handful. I think his biggest thing is the tempo he plays with, his effort. He's a tough guy and he's one of our tempo-setters up front for our whole team. He's been that way since OTAs, since training camp, since preseason games and in the first two games."

Pec of trouble

Isaac Seumalo, the third-round rookie who was the early favorite to start at left guard at the onset of Lane Johnson's suspension, isn't practicing this week as he tries to accelerate the slow healing of his preseason pectoral strain.

In the interim, veteran Stefen Wisniewski seems to have moved ahead of Seumalo in the rotation. Seumalo said Thursday he expects to be able to compete for the job when the Eagles return from next week's bye, but his priority is to get back to full strength.

"Whatever happens, happens, but I gotta get healthy first," he said.

Johnson, the Eagles' most dominant o-lineman through two games, hasn't been available to reporters since news broke that his 10-game PED suspension was official, and that his appeal was scheduled for Oct. 4, as the Eagles return from their bye.

Left guard Allen Barbre said this week that coaches haven't yet addressed moving him back to right tackle, where he spent much of training camp, as the team tried to get ready for the suspension. (Though Doug Pederson said that is still the plan.) Will Barbre be comfortable moving back there soon?

"Hope so," Barbre said. "We'll have to just work it out together. We'll make the adjustment."

Wisniewski said he hasn't heard anything, either. He had started all 77 NFL games he'd played in before coming to the Eagles, but he played only on special teams in the opener, then got a dozen snaps as an extra blocking tight end in Chicago.

"It's tough," said Wisniewski, a Pittsburgh native. "I haven't been a backup since 2007 . . . that was my freshman year in college (at Penn State). It's definitely been tough on me. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, being ready when my opportunity comes."


The injury report was unchanged from Wednesday, linebacker Mychal Kendricks held out of practice again with the quad bruise and broken nose that Kendricks has said won't keep him off the field Sunday . . . Offensive coordinator Frank Reich outlined his attitude toward dropped passes, when the receivers you have are the ones you're going to have to live with: "You drill, you teach and you encourage. You rebuke. But I don't think you overemphasize it. I just think you keep playing football. No one wants to drop the ball. No one wants to throw a bad pass or miss a block or miss an assignment. But it's going to happen. There's been a lot of evidence of positive things, so I don't get too worked up. I don't like it when it happens, but you have just got to move on to the next play."