Bears lose special teams ace Corey Graham to RavensContinue reading.
Former Bears CB Corey Graham shines for Ravens in win
Corey Graham developed into a Pro Bowl special teams player for the Bears.
A fifth round pick out of New Hampshire, Graham was a special teams leader for the Bears, and he even started eight games in his second NFL season.
So during free agency, Graham headed to Baltimore — and he’s proven many times over that he isn’t only a special teams ace.
Graham made several big plays during the season, and he started eight games for the Ravens. But he had his best game as a pro Saturday in Denver, intercepting two passes of Peyton Manning, both of them huge. The first he returned 39 yards for a touchdown off a tipped pass, and the second he stepped in front of a receiver in overtime to get his team the ball near midfield.
Here is what Graham had to say afterwards:
* On the picks: “First, it was a tipped ball. You run to the ball and I believe [CB] Chykie [Brown] got his hand on the ball, [and] was able to tip it up and it came right to me. It was just one of those plays, being in the right spot. On the second one, I was in coverage and [WR Brandon] Stokley turned it up the field on me. I was recovering, trying to get back to him, and I was able to undercut it and get underneath it. It was one of those plays.”
* On if Manning had less zip on the ball late: “No. I didn’t feel like his arm had less juice or anything like that. It is overtime – you are obviously going to be more aggressive, be more up there and try and make some plays. In overtime the corners tightened it up and we were able to make some plays.”
* On signing with the Ravens: “I knew from the beginning it was the best decision I ever made in my life. Well, one of the best, probably marrying my wife was the best. I knew from the beginning it was a great decision. Coach [John] Harbaugh gives guys a chance to come out and play. He told me before I signed here that if I deserved to play I would. He is a man of his word. He has given me the opportunity to play and that is all I’ve asked for.”
* On the Ray Lewis factor Saturday: “Of course. You always want to go out there and make plays. It is a big game. We obviously want to go to the Super Bowl. We wanted to get this win for [LB] Ray [Lewis], and I was going to do everything I possibly could to help him get this victory.”
* On the Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones touchdown: “I was watching it. I’m not going to lie – I was a little shocked [Jones] was able to get behind them like that. It was probably the best play of the game. I don’t know how it happened. They had [QB] Joe [Flacco] in the backfield, and he was able to step up and get away from the rush and that’s what gave him a little extra time. It was one of those miraculous plays, and I don’t think it’ll ever be forgotten.”