Could Graham Be Better Than Blount?October 16th, 2011
First, the really good news. Earnest Graham told Joe he feels 100 percent coming out of the Saints game. No bruises. No tweaks. No cobwebs in his head.
And considering Graham ran for 109 yards on just 17 carries and Joe can’t find anyone that thinks LeGarrette Blount will play Sunday in England, that was critical, especially considering Graham’s history of injuries.
Watching Graham rekindle his 2007 glory today, Joe wondered briefly whether Graham could be more versatile and dangerous than Blount?
Don’t get Joe wrong, Joe thinks Blount is a stud, but Graham was stellar, running hard and flashing elusiveness Blount doesn’t have. Joe asked Donald Penn about Graham, and Penn suggested Graham might be the better back.
“We knew Earnest Graham was going to bring it to the table. You remember that year when he came in and took over for Cadillac and almost had 1,000 yard rushing? We knew Earnest Graham would come through. Earnest Graham knew Earnest Graham he would come through,” Penn said.
“You know, he’s a veteran. Blount’s still learning and he’s got a great guy to learn from, but you know Earnest Graham has been there a lot. He knows how to read those holes a little better. You know, Blount’s still learning. You know, Blount’s probably going to sit down with E.G. and watch this film and be like, ‘Damn, OK. Let me see what [Graham’s] seeing.’ And it’s going to help him out. We’re going to be a lot better.”
Joe’s just grateful right now that the Bucs can afford to have Blount miss the Bears game Sunday (then rest/rehab during the bye week) and really get his knee healthy. The Bears have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, which doesn’t hurt.
As for Graham, he says he’s down to 225 pounds, from 235 as a fullback in 2010, and looking to get down to his 2007 playing weight of 220 soon. He said he’s feeling some extra quickness. And Joe’s pretty sure everyone saw it.