In a recent interview, the Detroit Lions’ Joseph Fauria talked about all the things he wanted to improve about his game. Mainly, he wanted to contribute to the offense in the way that the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham has recently. The reasons for the comparison are plenty, but can he be the poor man’s Jimmy Graham or better?
The Lions’ new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi comes from the Saints, and he plans on bringing the Saints’ playbook along with him. This means Fauria’s chances of becoming the next Graham actually might make a little sense. Lombardi coached Graham, and he is largely responsible for figuring out a way to use the former basketball player. Oh, and Drew Brees helped a bit too.
Fauria is built a lot like Graham, and both have that great basketball background that has proved very helpful for pass catching tight ends. Fauria didn’t have the speed that Graham had coming out of college, but he plans on working hard to increase his speed, strength and overall ability to contribute more to the Lions’ offense.
With the future unclear for Brandon Pettigrew, Fauria is certainly in the position to make a splash considering all the things working in his favor. It’s up to him to work hard this offseason, stay healthy and makes plays when he gets his opportunity.
Fauria was second on the Lions to Calvin Johnson with seven touchdown catches. He was awesome in the red zone but didn’t do much on the rest of the field. If he can provide another big body to make athletic catches for big yardage it could be huge for the Lions. Whether or not Lombardi can mold him into the next Graham remains to be seen, but the stars are aligning for Fauria; we’ll see if he and the Lions can capitalize.