Will Earnest Graham Get More Touches?

October 11th, 2010

So there was No. 34 hurdling Bengals DT Pat Sims and blown up Keydrick Vincent in the backfield yesterday.

No. 34 then regained his balance and willed and powered his way into the endzone.

And No. 34 also was the guy hammering into the line with the Bucs backed up on their 1 yard line and busting a 61-yard run.

Joe doesn’t know many fullbacks with that kind of ability. So when is Earnest Graham going to get more touches?

Cadillac Williams jacked up his season average to 2.6 yards a carry after another sluggish Sunday. And Caddy dropped yet another screen pass. Clearly, the Bucs can’t run the ball and, as expected, the coaching staff has little faith in Kareem Huggins’ and LeGarrette Blount’s ability to protect Josh Freeman, so they’re not on the field.

If Huggins and Blount are on-paper options more than anything else, then Greg Olson needs to find away to get more out of Graham. When given a chance, the guy has delivered, even last year in his inexplicably brief opportunities (14 carries for 66 yards).

What exactly are the Bucs saving him for?

Joe can’t imagine anyone making a case that Cadillac is a better option than Graham.

21 Responses to “Will Earnest Graham Get More Touches?”

  1. Dave Says:

    Blount and Huggins HAVE to get more carries.

    HUGGY BEAR & The BLOUNT is too good a nickname for the duo!

    Seriously, Caddy is done. If Blount is really horrendous at blitz pickup, then stick Graham in at HB and mix in Huggins.

    Is HUggins still hurt???? If not, what the hell are they waiting for? He is the most explosive back they have in the backfield.

  2. Gary Says:

    I hope someone in the media asks the team exactly what you say Joe. If pass pro is the issue keeping Blount/Huggy off the field, then there is no excuse keeping Graham out as well.

  3. Bucnjim Says:

    I’m sure Caddy is sore today after taking on all those blitzes all day. He was in position most of the time, but he was getting over powered. We have been looking more and more like a true west coast offense by using the short pass as the running game. Probably not by choice though! The rest of the year teams will be stacking the box and blitzing so we need to get used to it.

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    If Freeman is pointing out protections, the ‘on-paper’ RB’s should be able to pick up their man. Freeman had done an excellent job thus far in recognizing the defensive looks. Not perfect, but damn good for a QB that hasn’t played a full 16 games in the NFL.

  5. Bucnjim Says:

    The biggest reason for Caddy is that they are secure about him not turning the ball over. Younger RB’s always seem to have a problem hanging on to the ball. Even Graham fumbled on the 1 yard line which this team can not afford.

  6. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Maybe the passing game will open up the runs.
    BTW, I have a bone to pick with The Press Box on S Dale Mabry. Here we are yesterday, the place is loaded up with Bucs and Rays Fans. They have the TVs at front of the place showing the Bucs-Bengals and the Rays-Texans game. My wife and I are in the back, and they had a TV in the back showing the Rays game as well. So, after kickoff and the first pitch, here comes a load of guys and gals coming to sit at a table, and they get the management to change the Rays-Texans game to the Colts. The room exploded, but they didnt change it back. Hey Press Box management….this is Tampa, not Indiana. We are fighting for a championship. Do you think a sports bar in Philly or even Dallas would have changed to channel to the Colts? Probably not. Lets get our playoff pants on guys……

  7. bucfanjeff Says:

    Oh, if you run the ball well, they stop blitzing as much. Put in Huggins, some guys just learn by doing, not by watching.

  8. BamBamBuc Says:

    Don’t really care who the more explosive back is, or the more powerful back. That just means they’ll explode into defenders 2 yards deep in our backfield instead of 3, or try to power their way through 3 yards deep instead of juke around. Only a couple of the run plays did the RB (ANY RB) break the line of scrimmage without being touched. MOST of the runs had more than one defender in our backfield. I understand you have to make the first guy miss sometimes, but when there are two or three in the backfield, that still adds up to a loss of yardage.

  9. JimBuc Says:

    The Bucs did not seem to do enough the back the Bengals away from the line of scrimmage. Where was Huggins and the screen pass or draw play? Not very imaginative play calling.

  10. Joe Says:

    BucFan South Tampa:

    You should have left. That would have got management’s attention VERY quickly.

    By staying you reinforced their decision.

  11. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    BucFan South Tampa, next time, ask the Bucs to borrow Blount to turn the TV back to the Tampa game. That really sucks, had that happen at a Beef O Brady’s who are known for catering to every football fan BUT the ones in Tampa! I have never been to The Press Box before, and after what you said, I highly doubt I will ever go. This is TAMPA, not Indy!

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    I have to take a small exception here. They definitely should not have taken your TV if that was the only one close in your view. I work in various parts of the Country for short stints, and we always find a local sports bar to set us up with the Bucs or Lightning games at certain pre-arranged times. They get to know us and keep a table/s and TV ready for our arrival. We spend good money there and it works every time. I actually had a Manager in Buffalo a couple years back stifle a group of Bills’ fans and tell them to show some manners. I bought them a round after. So although I feel you personally may have been possibly wronged, this is a common courtesy that all Fans accross the country should extend to their away from home workers, who have no other way to watch their home team. Many of these guys/gals are soldiers and airmen, so I can understand what happened, because my crews and or I are often in the same boat. We always leave a very large tip as well, and we are some seriously loud Bucs/Lightning Fans.

  13. gitarlvr Says:

    Joe- I’ve been making this point over and over again. But don’t hold your breath for more Graham touches. Its become obvious to me that the coaching staff feels they need Graham at fullback. So seeing him line up at halfback just isnt going to happen cuz they apparently aren’t sold on Chris Pressley. What a huge failure by this organization to not pick up a legitimate true fullback in the offseason. As I said before Ernest is by far the most polished back on the roster. He can run, he can pick up blitzes, and has wide reciever hands. The mismanagement of the running game by this staff has become a tragedy.

  14. sensiblebuc Says:


    I wholeheartedly agree. The opportunity to run through clean holes are just not there. Blount and Huggy are going to run into the same problems that Caddy is facing. Those calling for more Graham after yesterday’s scamper weren’t paying attention to the run itself. It wasn’t some superhuman effort by Graham, it was the perfect play call at the perfect time against that particular defense. Until we can change the line of scrimmage with our O-line this type of pedestrian production will continue to dog our running game.

  15. gitarlvr Says:

    Hey sensiblebucs

    On that same run that Graham got 60 yards, Caddy would have probably gotten 5-10 yards. Ernest Graham has made things happen the few times he has touched the ball between last year and this year. The 60 yard run by Graham was not just the play call. The guy has shown consistent ability to rip off huge runs. Football fans have really short memories. Let me remind everyone that in 2008(before Askew got hurt and the Graham to fullback travesty began)about six games into the season Ernest Graham was LEADING ALL RUNNING BACKS IN THE LEAGUE IN RUNS OF 40+ yards!! The bucs run game with Graham and Dunn was ranked 6th in the league at that point. Caddy can’t even muster up a 20 yard run anymore let alone a 60 yarder.

  16. Patrick Says:

    It’s really just messed up. Caddy kept struggling yesterday and they just kept giving him the ball. All this talk about Huggins and they don’t even give him carries. Then you have Earnest Graham, our best running back by far and a guy who brought excitement to our backfield in 07 and 08, just continuing to waste time at fullback. They kept giving Caddy the ball, and they didn’t dare give Graham any carries. Even after that long run he busted off, which he was able to do all the time when he was actually a running back, he still got no carries pretty much. He was showing the stuff he had back in 07 and 08 and but I guess that didn’t matter.

    Go out and get a true fullback. Really, is he the best fullback out there that we could have?? He doesn’t even have the build to be a fullback. It’s like having Caddy at fullback, because he’s about the same size as Graham, only about an inch taller.

    I’ve been excited about Huggins, but it’s obvious that he’s never going to get the ball now. His first carry was a good one for 4 yards and after that they just stopped. Remember, this isn’t like last year where we were losing by 20 points every game and were forced to pass the ball every down. So there’s no excuse.

  17. King Says:

    With all of the blitzes Cincy sent at us, I can see why they wouldn’t want to put rookie running backs in there. I was more concerned about our ability to pick up blitzes and get the ball out quickly then who was our running back.

    BTW theres nothing saying our fullback cant run the rock as well or better then a half back. Anybody remember a fullback we used to have named Mike Alstott?

  18. booty traps Says:

    @ King

    My thoughts exactly. Right now Caddy is the man. He knows the offense better than anyone. He is trustworhty with the ball, no funbles. He picks up blitzes. He calls out blitzes to Freeman. He is worth gold right now for us.

    Dindt you see him calling out the rusher on some plays! You can see him pointing them out. No way Huggins or Blount understand that now. They need time.

    I thought we had a good play selection from Olson yesterday. Im liking his style more and more. I like how he mixes up the play calling. And as far as that run from EG? Perfect play calling!

    GO BUCS!!

  19. McBuc Says:

    Easy guys, Coach Morris said we would see more of the new back, not that they would carry the load. Even Blount said he did not know the protections yet, so give it rime. Focus on the 3-1 record for now. The new guys will get their shot, but if they were not ready and Morris played them because the fans called for it, we may have lost the game. Posters are the ones saying how great Huggins and Blount are, and yes I am one of those fans. Remamber that we are not in the meetings or at practice. Morris seems like the type of guy that will play the best guys, regardless of want the fans want.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    The one run Caddy made to the left, he didn’t know what to do once he found daylight and only got a few more yards. I think maybe he needs glasses or contacts.

  21. BamBamBuc Says:

    “The one run Caddy made to the left, he didn’t know what to do once he found daylight”

    Maybe that’s because it’s been so long since he’s seen daylight. When all of our RBs live in the shadows of the opponents DL in our own backfield for so long, it’s gotta be bright out there in the daylight. Maybe he was blinded by the light. Maybe he went into shock. Or maybe he was looking for the safety and which way to run from there. Who knows, but daylight is not very common for our RBs.