“Insurance” Graham Is Still Around

March 11th, 2011

Joe’s heard all kinds of chatter — from Peter King to anonymous commenters — about the Bucs needing to draft a running back, or bring in a falanderer who’s been on his couch for four years, or get some capable backup for LeGarrette Blount.

Joe’s even heard more than a few mention it might be time to let Earnest Graham go. Don’t put Joe in that camp — not for 2011.

Graham can still play, and Joe suspects Graham could — with some notice — take off some fullback weight and fill Cadillac Williams’ role as good or better than Cadillac himself, if the Bucs lost Cadillac to free agency.

Can Graham catch the ball out of the backfield? Yes. … Can he run as well as Cadillac? Yes. … Can he block for Freeman? Yes. … Can he mentor Blount? Yes. … Does he know the offense? Yes. After his 61-yard run in Week 5, did he only get seven or so carries? Yes.

Remember, nickname obsessed Raheem Morris dubbed him “Insurance Graham” right after Derrick Ward was cut to remind fans Graham was a do-it-all guy.

Graham spoke the other night in Baltimore where he accepted an Ed Block Courage Award with other NFL players. (quote below courtesy of Press Box Online). He spoke a bit about dealing with his mother’s struggle with cancer during the 2010 season. She died in November at 57 years old.

“It carried over quite a bit (through the season). For (the younger players) to see what I had to go through and do my job at the same time while carrying a heavy heart, they understood that. That’s something I’ve been doing, still persevering and still being able to move on. That says a lot to someone beyond football.”

Graham did what the Bucs asked of him in 2010 through tough personal circumstances. And Joe suspects he’d have no problem doing the same thing in 2011 — if healthy — whatever role that might be. 

15 Responses to ““Insurance” Graham Is Still Around”

  1. oar Says:

    So sad! I’m so glad we have the chance to watch and have this man play for us, and be apart of our community! My heart goes out to Ernest “Dodge Ram” Graham.

  2. Dave Says:

    Glad you brought this up JOE> With all the talk about Tiki and even chatter about Reggie Bush, you are absolutely right. If they lose Caddy they already have the man to replace him in Graham. I think many of us have lost sight of that.
    this would enable them to focus on Huggns being a change of pace guy or draft another one if they are not confident in Huggins health.

  3. Gary Says:

    One of the following has to go: Blount, Huggy, Caddy, Graham. The only one that makes sense is Caddy, hate to say that but its true.

    Obviously Blount isn’t going anywhere and we need to see what we have in Huggy. That leaves Graham and Caddy who have similar skillsets. The only reason to keep Caddy before was that he was “faster” than Graham, but now that isnt true anymore, its time to move on.

  4. Matt Says:

    Huggins may not even be ready for the season, so I wouldn’t be counting on him.

    I think we should just stand pay with our backs. Improve our lines. Next year we’ll have a pretty good idea of just how good Blount is and will be able to draft a speedster.

  5. Joe Says:


    Graham and Caddy who have similar skillsets. The only reason to keep Caddy before was that he was “faster” than Graham, but now that isnt true anymore, its time to move on

    Caddy will be retained before Graham because Caddy — Joe knows this sounds weird — can stay healthy. Graham is always nicked up and it’s not going to get any better since he’s 30+.

  6. Joe Says:


    Caddy they already have the man to replace him in Graham.

    Two different backs.

    Graham simply can’t cut it as a tailback any longer, that’s painfully obvious the past two years. That’s not even factoring in how he is always hurt.

    Caddy can still be effective as a tailback in limited carries.

  7. BamBamBuc Says:

    The only reason to keep Caddy was he was faster than Graham??? I doubt he was ever a lot faster, but he has been more elusive/agile. He doesn’t always “make a move”, sometimes choosing to lower a shoulder to a hit rather than dodge it.

    And why does one of them have to go? Graham has played FB and done fine there. He could continue in that role while Blount/Caddy/Huggins fill the TB spot. If Huggins isn’t recovered, Graham can fill in at TB and Lorig is the FB. If Caddy isn’t resigned, Graham drops a few pounds and becomes the #2 back.

    None have to go. That would only leave a hole to fill with a draft choice (or free agent) somewhere. I thought we were filling holes, not digging them.

  8. eric Says:

    After Blount, everyone is average at best. The position is in need of upgrading IMO.

    Counting on Blount is dangerous biz.

  9. JDeezy Says:

    With the role Caddy played last year he was EXTREMELY productive. Avg close to 5 YPC. I don’t see any reason to get rid of him. If they sign a new RB then they have to make room. If they don’t sign a new player, they have the same roster they ended last year with (w/ the exeption of Lumpkin).

  10. Buc N' A Says:

    I’d like to keep all of them and draft a RB in maybe the 5th or 6th round. A pick that has big “potential” but is raw. Someone that has a different skill set then what we already have on roster and we can develop in our system. Our current RB crop can get us through this year while that new RB develops. That is if we resign Caddy. I wouldn’t mind locking him up for another 2-3 years. He’s great at pass protection and has become a very good 3rd down threat.

  11. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Olsen had big plans for Graham. He planned to use him as a receiver in the flats alot. I think Ernest emotion problems left Graham( understandable) out of sync. Hopefully he can rock the Riecieving Fullback posistion. And Lorig can become a monster blocker ! More tools for Neo! still think Caddy is our 3 down back- but championship team’s think with their head, not their heart. If you can upgrade any posistion- ya do it! Doesn’t matter who, are where they got drafted. You get the best you can, and start them. That’s why some fan favorite but unproductive O- lineman by be allowed to leave via free agency. High draft picks, but Looow production for YEARS! Got served by Rookies last year- time to hit the happy trails!

    One of my favorite quotes again for this team- per Parliment” funk or walk!!”

  12. IMHO... Says:

    rather him than Caddy. He plays RB, FB and special teams.

  13. McBuc Says:

    Eric, why is it not wise to count on Blount? Is it because he got in a fight on a football field in college? Or maybe it is because everyone that has spoken to the kid says he seems like a very nice down to earth guy? He has done nothing to make anyone in Tampa make such a comment.

  14. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I think replacing Graham depends on whether we get a new player in that is an upgrade. To me, Huggins is like a younger version of Graham thus far.

  15. eric Says:

    Nuttin against Blount for fighting Mcbuc, just unwise to put all your eggs in one basket at RB. Remember how awful the running game was before his arrival?

    Id just like to see some better players behind him and perhaps a guy that can catch well out of the backfield.

    Thats all. I agree the young man has played and acted well. I am underwhelmed by the rest of the cast at that position.