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Graham hoping for larger role

Posted Nov 10, 2012

After the Bills’ passing attack couldn’t find a way to stretch the field last week against Houston, Buffalo will try to attack a suspect New England secondary this weekend in Foxborough.

One Bills wide receiver that hasn’t seen many balls come his way, but is more than capable of making a big play is rookie T.J. Graham. The N.C. State product has 14 receptions for 109 yards on the year, but has yet to haul in a catch of more than 20 yards.

The Patriot’s secondary currently sits in dead last in the league in giving up 20-plus yard plays with 42. Graham said although the Patriots haven’t defended long plays well, the Bills have to show they can take advantage on the field.

“It’s a challenge for me, for someone that’s a deep threat that can stretch the field,” Graham said.

Coach Chan Gailey said Graham no doubt has the ability to stretch the field in certain situations.

“Yeah he can go deep, but you have to read coverage too,” Gailey said. “He can’t just take off and run. You’ve got to see what’s going on and know how to beat a guy and set a guy up and he’s working on all that stuff.”

In Week Four against the Patriots, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looked deep to Graham twice, but both were overthrown. Graham played his most extensive time of the season in that game with 60 snaps total, catching four balls for 34 yards.

Graham admitted he and Fitzpatrick have developed better chemistry since that contest.

“I feel comfortable myself,” Graham said. “Week One you could ask me a couple of plays and I’d be confused. Now it’s probably second nature. I can take you back to the Texans game that was pretty loud so I could hear just part of the formation and then understand what play it is. I think I’m coming along where we can probably start to exercise more extravagant play calls.

“I think after that week we realized that we can have a deep threat and get down the field. We’ll get back to it when the time is right. A lot of teams don’t let us get down the field because they want us to beat them underneath. Hopefully they (the Patriots) show us some coverages that allow us to get deep.”

Fitzpatrick agreed saying he’s a guy that’s capable of making plays when the ball is in his hands.

“He’s a guy that’s been getting better,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m a lot more comfortable with him now than maybe I was in Week One. He’s shown some good things when he’s been able to touch the ball. Some of it is just having a limited number of plays and needing to get touches to other guys. That’s been part of it, but I think he does need to become a bigger part of our offense.”

Fitzpatrick hooked up with Graham for the wideout’s first touchdown in Cleveland. Graham admitted his first NFL touchdown didn’t stick in his mind long.

“I remember all my drops, but I don’t remember many of my catches,” Graham said. “Most of the games I’m 50 percent to 100 percent catching that ball with my two or three plays,”

Even with some success this season, Graham said there’s plenty of room for him to improve.

“I have to work on making sure I run consistent routes,” Graham said. “The reason why balls are overthrown or underthrown is maybe because I used a different move or I got jammed up, or I ran faster or maybe not as fast. I think I have to improve my whole game to make it more consistent, and make it more of a trustworthy relationship with Fitz."