Should Earnest Graham Be A Tailback?

October 19th, 2010

How thorough was the chainwhipping the Saints gave the Bucs? Joe, being the history geek, was somewhat reminded of Bill Sherman’s march to the sea through Georgia in the Civil War.

The only difference was, the Saints didn’t jump in the stands at the CITS, to rob people of their beers and concessions and accost the women.

After Kareem Huggins went down with a season-ending knee surgery, there was no running game. None.

As a result, Charles Robinson, of Yahoo! Sports, believes the Bucs have the solution on their own roster: Earnest Graham.

The early deficit to the Saints took the running game away, but Tampa Bay’s backfield is totally uninspiring. Regardless, Earnest Graham is the best running back on the roster. He’s being wasted.

Well, yes and no. Part of the reason Graham was moved to fullback is, at his age (NFL nursing home age), he’s getting susceptible to injuries, which happened again Sunday when he pulled a hamstring.

Graham may very well be a good short-term option at tailback but doing risks losing Graham for the season, again, to injury.

Then the Bucs are down a fullback. And another tailback.

16 Responses to “Should Earnest Graham Be A Tailback?”

  1. Tommy Boy Says:

    If they were concerned with the health of Graham they wouldn’t have moved him to fullback. He basically uses his body as a battering ram every down. It’s been obvious that Graham should be running the ball more but Rah needs to have a lead before he allows EG to tote it. Not likely to happen.

  2. FLorida Girl Says:

    EG should definately be in there….much better college stats than any other back on the roster and has been effective every opportunity he gets….from wiki:

    “Mr. Football” in 1997, and was named a Parade magazine high school All-American…Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) recognized Graham as one of the “100 Greatest Players of the First 100 Years” of Florida high school football….at the conclusion of his career at Florida, Graham ranked among the best running backs in Gator history. Graham finished 3rd in school history in rushing touchdowns (33), 5th in rushing yardage and attempts (3,065 yards on 603 carries), 5th in career 100-yard games (9), and 9th in all-purpose yards (3,468). Graham also averaged 135 yards in his three bowl games.

  3. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I agree, Joe.

    The solutions are on our roster already. We just have to realize the running game will likely not be fixed this season. The young players need to develop, just like the WRs are.

    At fullback, they can start playing Chris Pressley and getting him some reps…some real game time. We can even put Erik Lorig to work as well. Perhaps one of them will develop throughout the season and become the solution at Fullback.

    At Tailback, we need to start LeGarrette Blount. While I know next to nothing about him, I have liked what I saw on the field. I figure at the least, he cannot do worse than Caddy. And while we’re at it, let’s put Kregg Lumpkin into some games as well and let him develop…because I smell an injury coming to Caddy.

    We need the coaches to commit to the run. They are simply too pass-happy. It amazes me that Freeman does not have more Interceptions than he does at the moment. Not because he sucks (because he doesn’t) but because of the large number of risks they make him take.

    My Running Game Theory
    I’ve always felt the best way to get the running game goings in a game is to use your heaviest hitters to pound the defensive line from the start of the game…just to wear them out and punish them. Alstott excelled at that, but the coaches eventually slacked up on it and that’s when the Bucs running game took a hike.

    It wouldn’t even matter if the running game got good yards or not at first…the idea is to pound the rock, so to speak. To make the defensive line fear the next run play…right up the middle.

    The bigger the fullback the better.

    Then, when the Dline is worn out…that’s when you open up the tailbacks and the passing game, but still pound through the line once in a while so they don’t recover their strength.

    Would we possibly fall behind in score at first? Probably. But in the second half, their defensive line would be needing oxygen so badly that our offense would be free to do what they need.

    They stack the box? Good. Take our hard hitters and plow right into the guys that usually drop back. Punish them. That way when it comes time to stop pur pass-catchers, those guys are hurting too bad to be effective.

    That’s smash-mouth football…and we have the guys to pull it off, the coaches just seem to lack the (foot)balls.

  4. Pete Dutcher Says:

    As to Graham…he would not do well in the tailback position either.

    I checked the team roster and he is no longer listed as RB/FB…but I don’t know if that’s been that way or if it changed after the start of the season.

    We need new, young blood there to develop along with the rest of the team. Consider this…next year, when the WRs and defensive line have developed, we could be just breaking in a RB…which means another year delay. We need Blount and Lumkin in there…now.

  5. Pete Dutcher Says:

    FYI, Graham is listed just as RB now…which might mean he’s out of the FB position.

  6. JDouble Says:


    He should have been for the past 3 years, Ward should have never been signed, and we should have had a real FB blocking for him. Now he’s almost 32 and it’s a moot point.

  7. McBuc Says:

    Fl Girl…Are you sure about college stats? Williams had great college stats, and Blount was a beast in college. EG played for FL offense that liked to throw the ball. I like him too, and think he is the best NFL back we have right now. Also remember, college stats do not mean a thing in the NFL.

  8. McBuc Says:

    Guys, a blocking FB takes less punishment than a TB. Blocking and being tackled from any and all angles are two different things. They need to get blount up to speed. It is starting to look like Huggins can not handle the punishment of the NLF.

  9. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Huggins is out for the season.

  10. MTM Says:

    E- Graham should be getting 20-25 carries a game. The Bucs don’t block well. So a scat back aka Caddy. Is not going to have a lot of success. They need a tight end that can block well and let E-Graham follow him. The pummeling at the O-line is getting old. If and buts……

    The Bucs issues are very simple. Bad blocking and poor tackling.

  11. Joe Says:

    So a scat back aka Caddy.

    Caddy is hardly a “scat back” MTM. He’s little more than a plodding runner now.

    Not even as a rookie was he a “scat back.”

  12. eric Says:

    There was no one left in the stands to accost.

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    EG should most definitely be carrying the rock now. Nothing else seems to be working. What’s up with the O line? They pass block OK, but run blocking is almost non existent.

  14. booty traps Says:

    The key to recovery is admission….

    we have NO running backs

    Not EG, Not Caddy, Not Huggins, Not blount….nadda!

  15. BamBamBuc Says:

    Even Steve White, in his analysis of the game, pointed out the run blocking is atrocious. Doesn’t matter who you put in at RB, they won’t get far when they’re hit in the backfield, which is why I also say our D-line needs to quit thinking so much after the snap and just get up field. Do to their backs what they do to us, make them change directions in the backfield.

    EG should stay at FB. He’s not the best run blocker, but he’s a threat to run, he’s a threat on FB screens, he’s a threat in routes, he’s decent in blitz pickup. With him and any other back in the backfield, we have two possible targets to throw to, to run the ball, and more help to pass protect. That is, if he’s healthy this week. Although, I did like what I saw from Lorig in run blocking, he’s got a DE mentality of “kill” when he takes on a block. He puts guys on the ground. I think he blocked better than Davin Joseph on Sunday.

  16. gitarlvr Says:


    The answer to your question is yes. Earnest Graham should be the tailback. This is fact. All opinions to the contrary are wrong. I win. I thank you all in advance for not arguing with me on this. Now, I’ll just call One Buc and let Raheem know what the deal is.