TE Graham excited to be in Seattle

Jimmy Graham, the newly-acquired tight end for the Seattle Seahawks, said there was something special he noticed about the Seahawks long ago while playing against them.

"The first thing I noticed was how close they were as an entire unit," Graham said. "When their offense is on the field, their defense is right there screaming and yelling. And when the defense is out there the offense is doing the same thing.

"It just seem like they have a culture there that breeds a brotherhood. They pull for each other. For them it's all about winning. It's not about individual anything. I really look forward to being a part of that."

Graham was lying on the beach Tuesday afternoon in South Florida when he received a call he never expected. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton told him he has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

"It was definitely out of left field," Graham said. "But when [Payton] told me it was Seattle, it put a grin on my face. It was a moment of shock, but once that shock cleared, I realized I was going to the best team in football."

The Pro Bowl player was traded to Seattle for center Max Unger and Seattle's first-round draft pick this year. The Seahawks get a fourth-round pick from the Saints. Graham spoke to Seahawks reporters on a conference call Thursday afternoon. He arrived in Seattle Wednesday afternoon and passed his physical after a long conversation with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

"Man, I love him," Graham said of Carroll. "He puts a smile on my face. He really is a player's coach. The way Pete knew so much about me, half the stuff I had forgotten about. That really means something, that he would take the time to learn all these things about me. It truly meant a lot."

The Seahawks fans know Graham as a man who has had some tense moments and emotional altercations with Seahawks players in the past. There was the pregame screaming match with Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin before a playoff game two seasons ago, along with other confrontations on the field.

"Whenever you are getting ready for a playoff game, you know how important those games are," Graham said. "There's a lot of emotion that goes into those games. It's all about doing whatever it takes to fire guys up and get that emotion running.

"That's just a part of the game. We play a contact sport and it's aggressive. You have to be aggressive in everything you do. But I'm excited to get to know these guys and become one of their brothers. You can tell all that's on their mind is winning championships. That's their complete focus. It's really encouraging to get to be a part of that."

Graham, 28, went through some difficult contract negotiations with the Saints a year ago, which some people think was a factor in the trade. But he says he leaves New Orleans with no hard feelings.

"When I went there I was a boy and I feel like now I'm leaving there as a man," Graham said. "I owe a lot to that coaching staff, my teammates and that city for believing in me."