With that said, the speed to which Garrett got to QB Cody Kessler was impressive, and even though Thomas lets Garrett have the edge, I don’t think he quite wanted to let him get to the spot that he did as quickly as he did — to the point where you’d even risk your quarterback hitting the turf (which Kessler did after some light contact).
After practice, Garrett talked briefly with reporters about his encounters with Thomas. Per Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com, here’s what he said:
I think I beat him on the last rush. But there was a rush where I tried to ‘bull [rush]’ and he started to slow me down. Then, Bitonio came and basically stopped me in my tracks. I heard Joe whisper to me, ‘nice try.’ That’s going against one of the world’s best. You’re going to get better each day by doing that.
In Jackson’s post-practice press conference, he was asked about Garrett’s promotion to the first-team defense. He acknowledged that they didn’t plan for today to be the day that Thomas and Garrett finally went at it; it just so happened that everything lined up that way.
It was a stunning trade on the Seahawks’ end, especially when they gave up their starting center on an already shaky offensive line. Nonetheless, they finally had a dynamic pass-catching threat at tight end, something that Russell Wilson lacked up to that point.
Despite the concerns about his usage, Graham was a valuable asset in the offense until his season ended on the worst possible note. During a Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Graham tore his patellar tendon, one of the most severe knee injuries an athlete can suffer. He was immediately ruled out for the year, and with the injury occurring late in the season, there was legitimate doubt that Graham would be ready for the start of 2016.
In short: Graham’s first year with the Seahawks was a disappointment, and it didn’t look like Seattle was going to get much return for the heavy price it paid.