A result of Barban-Vehov (and independently Motohashi) gives an estimate for the mean square of a sequence related to Selberg's sieve. This upper bound was refined to an asymptotic formula by S. Graham in 1978. In 1992, I made the observation that Graham's method can be used to obtain an asymptotic formula when the sum is restricted to an arithmetic progression. This formula immediately gives a version of the Brun-Titchmarsh theorem. I am taking the occasion of a volume in honour of my friend S. Srinivasan to revisit and publish this observation in the hope that it might still be of interest.