Earnest Graham Is A “Victim”

January 14th, 2010

Prior to the 2009 season, Raheem the Dream wanted to run the ball violently. It’s one of the reasons the Bucs signed free agent Derrick Ward.

Raheem the Dream wanted to utilize a 2-2-1 rotation where Earnest Graham, Cadillac Williams and Ward rotated. But that never materialized. In fact, Graham was lost in the shuffle.

In a question-and-answer column on TBO.com, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune claims Graham was lost in the shuffle and became a “victim.”

Q: Why do you think that Earnest Graham got very little playing time this year? I know Morris likes Cadillac Williams, but Earnest was kicking butt last year. I know they wanted to use Earnest to block, but when he’s a better running back and getting more yards than Cadillac why not use him there?

Joe Jordan, Rotonda West, Fla.

A:In retrospect, the Bucs had no idea Cadillac would prove to be as durable and effective as he showed in 2009. They felt a commitment toward Caddy for his remarkable comeback and Derrick Ward ended up lost in the shuffle. Graham was a victim of his own unselfishness and when he moved to fullback due to injuries, he became an afterthought, even in short-yardage situations. That three-headed monster in the backfield that Morris talked about in the summer never materialized, partly because the Bucs didn’t run the ball nearly enough for most of the season.

— Ira Kaufman

The Bucs had the running backs — and in theory, the offensive line — to punish defenses with a pounding running game. For whatever reason, that didn’t happen.

Was it perhaps offensive coordinator Greg Olson utilizing his Chucky playbook?

4 Responses to “Earnest Graham Is A “Victim””

  1. sgw94 Says:

    At least or more of a factor in Graham not being a bigger part of the offense as him moving to fullback, was his outstanding performance on special teams. Caddy having been a 1st round pick and then coming off injury had no experience in running down and blowing up a wedge on kick off or blocking on a punt return. It wasn’t likely they were going to risk him going out there and doing that stuff either. Derrick Ward being the big money signing probably felt like that stuff was beneath him. I am almost positive whoever pulled the trigger on that deal wouldn’t have wanted him to risk injury, and thereby their job, on special teams. And because you can only have 53 guys on an active roster, if you carry 3 tailbacks (or in our case 4) anybody not on the 2 deep has to play special teams. I love Graham ofr his unselfishness but without a doubt it lowered his market value probably for the forseable future

  2. the_Buc_Realist Says:

    Funny how Chuck’s playbook was top 5 for rushing for 3 straight years in Oakland, Chucky loves to pound the rock as much or more than any coach. But it has to be effective.

  3. adam Says:

    chucky did not pound the rock….at all!!!…he had alstott for years….the a-train….”mr. pound the rock himself”….and never used him to the point of ruining his final career numbers and ruining his once potential hall of fame chances……adam from ny

  4. twodog Says:

    Graham gets good press, is a good guy and is paid in full. Damned if I understand why you feel sorry for him. Why not feel sorry for Bryant, Talib, and Jackson. They are the ones with problems and not Ernest.