Eagles DC Jim Schwartz Pays Brandon Graham His Highest Compliment

Jim Schwartz played linebacker for four years at Georgetown in the 80s, but that's where his playing career ended. After college, he immediately jumped into the coaching world. 

Schwartz never made it to the NFL as a player. 

But if he did, he would have wanted to play like Brandon Graham. 

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"I'll probably give him, in my mind, my greatest compliment," Schwartz said on Thursday morning. "I wasn't a very good player, but if I played in the NFL, I hope I would have played like Brandon Graham."   

Graham, a former first-round pick who once had to deal with everything that came along with not living up to that status, has turned into a star in 2016 under Schwartz. 

What has made Graham so successful this year? 

"I think it's the system and my attitude toward every day," Graham said. "Just trying to work hard, continue to keep that chip on my shoulder and know where I've come from. Try not to forget that. I try to bring the energy every day, because I know now, being here seven years, that you have to put in that work. As tough as it is, you have to put it in to be great." 

After starting the spring as a rotation player, Graham earned a starting job and now leads the team with five sacks and six tackles for loss. 

In addition to the numbers, Graham has clearly been the Eagles' best defensive end and has caused constant pressure during the first nine games of the season. 

"He's a good player," Schwartz said. "There's no substitute for good players. Not only is he a good player, but he played with incredible effort. He plays with toughness. He's very conscientious, he doesn't make mistakes very often and when he does make a mistake, he's quick to correct. He's quick to take responsibility for plays that he doesn't make or plays that he should make. He's a great teammate. I can't say enough good things about him. He plays the game the way the game should be played."

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