Jimmy Graham penalized for TD dunk

Jimmy Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- The NFL hasn't stopped Jimmy Graham from dunking just yet.

The New Orleans Saints' tight end caught his first touchdown pass of the preseason Friday night -- then quickly drew his first 15-yard penalty for dunking over the goal post.

And he didn't stop there.

Graham hauled in another touchdown catch in the second quarter, dunking in celebration and receiving another penalty. After the second TD, Saints coach Sean Payton chased down his star tight end  when he came to the sideline and appeared upset. The two exchanged words.

Graham's familiar touchdown celebration was outlawed by the NFL this offseason, lumped in with other taunting penalties in which the ball is used as a "prop." It has often been referred to as "The Jimmy Graham rule" since it was inspired in part by Graham knocking goal posts ajar on two different occasions in the past.

Though Graham has promised to be smart about not hurting his team, he obviously figured it was worth the penalty in the preseason. He did the same thing two weeks ago in the Saints' scrimmage, which was being officiated by visiting NFL officials explaining this season's new rule changes.

Graham's touchdown Friday came on 6-yard pass from backup quarterback Luke McCown on the opening drive against the Tennessee Titans.

McCown started in place of Drew Brees, who again sat out with an oblique strain he suffered in practice Aug. 1. Brees is expected to be healthy in plenty of time for the regular season, though. He threw passes with receiver Kenny Stills and ran sprints on the field before Friday's game, among other conditioning work.

Saints receiver Marques Colston was a surprise scratch Friday. He watched from the sideline for an undisclosed reason.

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