In his longest stretch on defense of the season, Corey Graham finished Sunday’s 25-15 win against the Cleveland Browns with six tackles. But the cornerback was unable to register an interception or a pass breakup, which contributed to the sixth-year veteran feeling unfulfilled about his play.
“It was all right,” Graham said Thursday. “Obviously, some things have got to be better, and I feel like I can play a lot better. I’ve got to find a way to make more plays. It was up and down, and to me, it wasn’t that good. A lot of ups and downs, and I’ve got to be more consistent. But we got away with the win, and that’s a blessing.”
The season-ending left anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered by Lardarius Webb against the Dallas Cowboys Oct. 14 has pushed Jimmy Smith into a starting role and moved Graham into a spot as the fifth defensive back in the unit’s nickel packages.
The injury to Webb is not the way Graham would have preferred, but he also acknowledged taking full advantage of the opportunity.
“Obviously, you want to get an opportunity to play on defense, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” he said. “Now I’ve just got to go out there and make the best out of it.”
Graham, who spent his first five years with the Chicago Bears, said he still keeps tabs on how his former teammates are doing.
“I’ve still got a lot of friends out there and I still talk a lot to those guys,” he said. “I’m still watching and seeing how they’re doing out there. They’re playing amazing right now and the defense is making a lot of plays. I’m happy for them.”
The Bears will play host to the Houston Texans in a matchup of a pair of 7-1 teams that boast top-10 defenses. Graham admitted that he is eager to watch the Sunday night game after the Ravens’ early afternoon contest against the Oakland Raiders.
“It’s a big game, right? It’s a big game for them,” he said of the Bears. “But I’ve got my boy who plays for the Texans, too, [cornerback] Danieal Manning. So I’ve got a little mixed feelings. But I’m going to be excited to see that game. It should be a great game and hopefully, both teams show up.”