Bucs Are Better Off Without Earnest Graham?

December 29th, 2010

earnest graham 092110Now since just about this time last year Joe has been preaching that the Bucs running backs — not the offensive line — was what was holding the Bucs rushing attack back.

This was met with claims of heresy by many Bucs fans. In some ways, the reaction from Bucs fans couldn’t have been worse if Joe admitted to walking into the cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg and urinating during high mass.

Of course this all changed when LeGarrette Blount hit the scene. The Bucs’ offense, for the better, changed dramatically.

Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski of WDAE-AM 620, who hosts the critically-acclaimed “Blitz” heard sometimes on Saturday, has seen the light as well. But Justin take Joe’s premise a step further.

Justin, who you can hear substituting for “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig, this afternoon from 3-6 p.m., believes the Bucs rushing game is better off without Earnest Graham, so he wrote on his blog found on the WDAE-AM website.

Let me start by saying that I am a big Earnest Graham fan. With that being said, I’m just not sold on him as a fullback. It would only help the Bucs to find a fullback this offseason that is a good run blocker to help open holes for Blount. Graham is the type of fullback that gets in the way of defenders, not blow defenders out of the hole. I still feel Graham has a place on this team, but I’m not sure it’s as the starting fullback.

Joe always thought Earnest Graham was pretty good as a blocker but it is interesting that when Graham did go down, Blount blew up. Joe’s not sure that was a coincidence or not.

19 Responses to “Bucs Are Better Off Without Earnest Graham?”

  1. Troxell8t8 Says:

    It might be time to give some love to Lorig at FB. I’m pretty impressed with his ability to attack the line of scrimmage going into the hole. Plus, he is big, I believe well over 250 lbs. Plus, the guy does have receiving abilities, he was a top 5 recruit at TE coming out of high school.

  2. Jackson5 Says:

    Why would go get a new FB when 270lbs Eric Lorig has been destroying guys in run blocking?

  3. Bishop Says:

    So, the headline is completely not in tune with the story. The entire point of JP’s blog is he’s not a starting fullback, but has a role on the team. With Caddy a free agent, it would be stupid to just get rid of him.

  4. TJ Says:

    pretty sure they are not going to resign caddilac so probaly will make Grahm the 3rd down back

  5. jvato24 Says:

    The RUn Blocking was awful the first 6 or 7 weeks .. Jim Brown would have lost yards in some of the looks Caddy was seeing with 2 guys 4 yds deep in the backfield at handoff ..

    The Oline is blocking much better now and started to turn when the Bucs put in Ted Larsen of all people …

    Since week 8 .. Even Caddy has like 5 yds per carry ..

    Yes Running backs can make something out of nothing of there are no holes sometimes .. But the line was a mess when Keydrick Vincent was out there

  6. booty traps Says:

    Lorig did look good out there…not sure if that was a coincidence or not though. Lets see how he does against real DL’s.

    We should keep EG just in case…

  7. Derf Says:

    With the youth movement that the Bucs are taking ask yourself this – does Ernest Graham really fit into the Bucs plans?

    If the Bucs keep Caddy then the backfield would be Blount and Caddy. Where does Ernest Graham fit into the equation?

    However if Caddy goes for greener pastures then you keep Graham as your #2 back.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    keep graham, let caddy walk even though i respect the hell out of the guy, and pick up a change of pace back. graham is much better on special teams than caddy.


    I agree. I want us to go out and get a Nail-eating, red-blooded, natural born fullback.

    I appreciate Graham, who still has the longest run from scrimmage this year, but I think we could improve in that position.

  10. lowlife Says:

    Owen Maricic, FB, Stanford

    Also, Carnell is a damned good 3rd down back and has made key plays all season and really should be retained. Guy knows the system, the team loves him, and in this reduced role he’ll have a much longer career than the average 28 year old back.

    Bring in a speed hybrid rookie like Derrick Locke to line up in the slot and in the backfield, but I don’t want a rookie as the primary blitz pick-up for Freeman. Blount looks lost out there picking up blitzes so far.

  11. Patrick Says:

    Earnest Graham should be the #2 back on the roster. Did everybody just forget how well he did as our starting RB 2 years ago?!? He basically had his role taken away from him and everyones forgotten about it since then.

    I think we need to keep both Graham and Cadillac on the team. Cadillac is a valuable leader in the locker room and he’s been saving Freeman’s a** all year in the pass protection. Graham has done ok at fullback, even though I’d rather see him back at running back where he belongs. Also, Graham in my opinion is probably the best leader and best person on this football team. These are 2 people we need around One Buc Place.

    Especially on a team where you have a bunch of young, stupid and immature guys who keep getting arrested and can’t stay out of trouble.

  12. Joe Says:


    Earnest Graham should be the #2 back on the roster. Did everybody just forget how well he did as our starting RB 2 years ago?!?

    Two years ago Randy Moss was an elite receiver.

    Two years ago Kurt Warner was a Super Bowl quarterback.

    Two years ago is two years ago.

    Earnest Graham is 30. Senior citizen age for a running back. For whatever reason, people refuse to believe Father Time.

  13. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I really hope we let Graham go to a team that will utilize him as the pass catching and load carrying running back he can be. I can remember when he was running over people for Tampa. With Blount, and Raheems love for Cadillac , I just don’t see him having much of a part in the Tampa offense much longer. Perhaps we can trade him for something, and let him finish his career with a team that needs a back like him ?

  14. Joe Says:

    Apple Roof Cleaning:

    Good to see you survived Monday night. Was beginning to wonder…

    Great to finally meet you.

  15. McBuc Says:

    Joe, you forgot…

    2 years ago Brett favre was retiring…

  16. Patrick Says:


    Thomas Jones is 32. Last year he rushed for 1,402 yards and 14 TD’s.

    Ricky Williams is 33. Last year he rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 TD’s.

    LaDainian Tomlinson is 31. Last year everybody thought he was done for in San Diego and this year he’s about to close in on a 1,000 yard season averaging 4.2 yards per carry.

    Just because a running back is old doesn’t mean they can’t be productive.

    You have to remember that Earnest Graham has spent most of his career on the sideline. He’s been with the Bucs since 2003 didn’t even really see action until 2007 when Cadillac got hurt. After 2008, he didn’t carry the workload for us anymore. He hasn’t been beat up like most of the other 30+ year old running backs in the NFL have.

    Remember, this would just be as a #2 back not the #1 back. Blount is that guy now.

  17. Joe Says:


    Just because a running back is old doesn’t mean they can’t be productive.

    No, but the odds are very much against a 30-year old running back from being productive, otherwise you could site a dozen examples of 30+ year old backs.

    Joe’s been saying for over a year Earnest Graham’s better days are behind him. People bang their fist on their keyboard arguing with Joe, yet there’s nothing to suggest Joe is wrong.

    Joe would prefer a younger guy, change-of-pace scatback then a plodding back as a backup.

    What has Earnest Graham done as a tailback this season — or for that matter, last season — to suggest he’s any better than, say, Kareem Huggins?

    Thomas Jones is 32. Last year he rushed for 1,402 yards and 14 TD’s.

    Ricky Williams is 33. Last year he rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 TD’s.

    How are both doing this year?

  18. Patrick Says:


    How are both doing this year?

    Thomas Jones isn’t doing bad actually. He isn’t having the season he had last year of course, but he’s been productive in a backup role to Jamaal Charles in KC.

    Ricky Williams hasn’t done that well this year.

    I was just using their stats last year as examples of running backs that have found success past 30.

  19. Patrick Says:


    What has Earnest Graham done as a tailback this season — or for that matter, last season — to suggest he’s any better than, say, Kareem Huggins?

    I’m not sure if that’s a fair question to be honest. Graham has been given few carries over the past 2 years. However, on one of the few carries he got this year, he busted off a 65 yard TD run against the Steelers. Maybe that’s just one play, but how much can you ask for from him when he doesn’t get the ball?

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