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Seahawks' Jimmy Graham: 'I can block anybody I want'

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Jimmy Graham can catch. But can Jimmy block?

Moving to the Seattle Seahawks' run-first offense, Graham's ability to block has become the focal point of questions posed to the tight end.

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Those questions germinated from new teammate, Michael Bennett, who once called Graham "one of the softest players" in the NFL. Bennett didn't back off those comments when Graham became a teammate, pointing out the tight end would need to block more in Seattle.

During OTAs Graham dismissed the idea that he can't be a blocking tight end -- at one point joking with a media member that "I could show you."

"Listen, man, I'm 270 pounds. I can block anybody I want to," he said, via 710 ESPN Seattle. "It's all about want-to. We'll see come this first Sunday."

While Graham wasn't asked to block often in New Orleans, he is capable of performing the task when healthy. Part of the problem is that he hasn't been healthy. Last year he dealt with a shoulder injury and in 2013 a foot injury admittedly hindered his blocking ability.

For some perspective, Pro Football Focus rated Graham their No. 15 blocking tight end in 2014, despite the injury, with a 3.1 grade -- their top blocker, Travis Kelce, earned just a 6.8.

"For me, that's really the main focus of this offseason is really to get my mind wrapped around this run game because it is a little different," Graham told 710 ESPN last weekend. "I've never been in a read-option type of system, but they also do just straight-up run the ball. So for me it's some different concepts, and their footwork is a lot different than the way I've done it. But it's exciting, something new and I think just the evolution of kinda my game and growing as a player."

Graham might never be a bulldozing road grader, but he has the size and apparently the chip on his shoulder to prove he can block. As with everything else in Graham's game, it comes down to whether he can stay healthy.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Jeff Darlington to discuss minicamp stories, and Conor Orr calls in for the debut of a new segment. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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