TE Graham's growth paying dividends for Saints

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Jimmy Graham says he's thankful for good advice he received from University of Miami president Donna Shalala and former star quarterback Bernie Kosar.

Graham was playing college basketball when Shalala urged him to give football a try. Before Graham played a game on the gridiron for Miami in 2009, Kosar told him he had NFL potential.

Graham is enjoying a promising rookie season as a tight end with the New Orleans Saints and has gained the confidence of quarterback Drew Brees. Graham had his best game yet last Sunday in Baltimore with two touchdown catches.

This Monday night in Atlanta, Graham will share the field with the Falcons' Tony Gonzalez, also a former college basketball player who has set records for tight ends.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)