“Don’t Put Earnest Graham On The Field”

September 19th, 2011

Joe never thought he’d hear someone call for Kregg Lumpkin to hit the field, but former Bucs quarterback Shaun King says he wouldn’t mind that happening if it means fewer reps for Earnest Graham.

Speaking today on The King David Show on WQYK-AM 1010, King said “please don’t put Earnest Graham on the field anymore” on third down.

King says Graham is a prime example of the Bucs’ shortage of explosive playmakers.

“When you run that check-down, you need someone that can make you miss,” King said.

King went on to say he’d be more than happy to give Lumpkin his looks if the Bucs aren’t going to use LeGarrette Blount on third down.

Joe’s not that far down on Graham, but Joe is concerned about his fumbling, as Joe referenced yesterday. And, of course, Graham will not be confused with Saints playmaker Darren Sproles anytime soon. 

Many fans, including Joe, hoped the Bucs would go after a scatback/change-of-pace type in the offseason — draft or free agency — and re-sign Cadillac Williams. Time will tell if those are important missing pieces.

31 Responses to ““Don’t Put Earnest Graham On The Field””

  1. Brain Says:

    Most of the fanbase (well-spoken or not) recognized the need to add a change-of-pace back with elusiveness and playmaking ability. The staff decided instead that they were gonna go for size and try to get a more physical run game. Blount has what, 18 carries in 2 games? This shouldn’t be overlooked as the biggest mistake of the offseason. There’s absolutely no explanation for this and I want Dominik/Morris to own up to this and correct it ASAP. We’re still afraid to run the ball inside on short-yardage situations and we have 4 backs over 225. We’re running shotgun draws to a 30-something back who’s better at FB. Pathetic….end rant.

  2. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Clearly, Blount is the most effective ball-carrier. However, E. Graham is the best receiver and, typically, the best blocker (although I saw him miss one yesterday).

    How many carries did Graham get yesterday? one or two. It is not that Graham is taking carries away from Blountm he is just taking snaps away from him which probably kept him fresh in the second half.

    Do not discount how effectively the run-blocking from Trueblood and DJ was in the second half yesterday, they were blowing open some huge holes – even near the goal line.

    We do not run left very well, I saw enough from Zuttah that I am ready for Larsen again.

  3. bucsalltheway Says:

    @Thomas you sound dumb coaching staff knows best and zuttah kept freeman jersey clean larson would have had dirt everywhere and he’s not quick off the ball zuttah held it down.

  4. lightningbuc Says:

    “King says Graham is a prime example of the Bucs’ shortage of explosive playmakers.”

    Shaun, now you know how us fans felt about the quarterback position in the ’99 NFC Championship game!

  5. bucsalltheway Says:

    If we win at home to Atlanta without larsen in the line up what will you say then. We made adjustments at half if he was doing oh so bad like u say and I watched the game to then how did he take part in the comeback..know your sports before making dumb assessments. U don’t even come off to me like a real bucs fan.

  6. loweredexpectations Says:

    lmao, what will he say next?!?

    clown shoes.

  7. Adam L Says:

    Graham runs like he’s wearing cement shoes. Shaun King is right. Graham catches the ball and turns upfield, he’s got guys all over him. The Bucs needed a guy like Sproles, or Reggie Bush, or even Cadillac Williams. Heck, I remember Aaron Stecker was a pretty good third-down guy. This was a roster move that just REEKS of cheapness. I heard the guys on NFL Network say that the addition of Darren Sproles to the Saints was the most significant free agent signing on the off-season.

  8. dclark Says:

    EG does have to either step up next game or be done with him as third down back. I mean LGB is 10 times the playmaker EG ever was or will be and is a threat. Eg is a good team player but just doesn’t have any special characteristics, no moves and is slow that he has to work extremely hard just to get 4- 6 yards on a dropoff pass. If they let everyone else learn on the job why not let LGB learn blocking and passing routes he’s gonna make more then what he’s gonna give up. Or at least put lumpkin in because he has some type of moves.

  9. Shmuckaneer Says:

    I hope they draft Chris Rainey! Yeah he’s small, but talk about change of pace, and explosive play making ability!

    With that said…Graham isn’t that bad. He doesn’t even really have a “fumbling problem”. He made some great run plays yesterday. I believe his avg was over 6 ypg. And was solid in the 4th. King needs to give it a rest.

  10. flmike Says:

    During the game, though they weren’t “Passing downs” Blount was in on a few pass/screen plays on 1st and 2nd down. I saw him miss one assignment that may have got Free hit by Allen, but other than that he did pretty well taking up space and just making defenders have go around or thru him.

  11. Buddhaboy Says:

    pay close attention to Caddy tonight on MNF, i wanted a scat back signing, reggie bush, sproles, or even Caddy, instead dominik went “big back hunting” I think they dropped the ball on that one for sure. That little back out of kentucky is available….

  12. SRQBucFan Says:

    Really Thomas2.2? You would take Larsen over Zuttah after last night? That one single statement has finally showed me you sir, have ZERO i mean ZERO true football knowledge. Game 1 Larsen was getting pushed around and could BARELY hold his own ground. Zuttah Actually played well. Getting off the snap quickly, Holding his ground, and making pushes for the run game.. Go Watch the tape again sir.

  13. SRQBucFan Says:

    Oh and btw. The Bucs are notorious for NOT running LEFT.. Penn is NOT a good run blocker. He only really excels at pass pro. So you can’t blame not running left on Zuttah. In the end, Penn is the reason we don’t like to run left very often.

  14. loweredexpectations Says:

    i would have never thought tampa fans would ever speak about graham like this even IF he had a bad day yesterday… which he did not. i watched the game again and could only count two mistakes by graham. one was not picking up the LE and protect freemans front side which led to a sack.

    the other he fumbled on what was already a free play… his only REAL problem. otherwise he was on the field for a majority of the snaps and did a fine job taking care of freeman and always giving him somewhere to go with the ball… when he was open (which was a majority of the time) free NEVER went to him. every time graham DIDN’T have antoine winfield on him he mad a decent gain. which i still believe he gained positive yards on both those plays.

    want to point the finger? blame greg olsen and the play-calling.


  15. Posey99 Says:

    “We do not run left very well, I saw enough from Zuttah that I am ready for Larsen again” – thomas 2.2

    JARED ALLEN ring a bell?

  16. SRQBucFan Says:

    i don’t dislike Graham in any sense of the word. I love what this guy has done for the Bucs. Wish they wouldn’t have sat him for Ward after EG had such a great year before.

    With that said, The issue I do have is actually on FREEMAN. On 3rd and LONG he consistently throws dink passes to Graham for only about 4 yards. EG is not an elusive kind of runner (never was). I would like to see them try to give him more room to turn a pass into some yards or at least attack with a DEEP pass.

  17. Meh Says:

    We should have kept caddy. It is crystal clear.

  18. Meh Says:

    And thomas you are crazy to want Larsen over Zuttah. It isn’t even close. Larsen has been a disaster and Zuttah has been solid.

  19. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    I was watching the Gators play on Saturday and having dreams of Rainey or Demps wearing pewter & red next year.

    I still feel for Huggins. Barring his unbelievably bad knee injury he probably would’ve been that guy.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Boy Thomas, you’re one really smart guy. Don’t forget to look twice before you cross the street.

  21. McBuc Says:

    Too soon to tell if not picking up a little speedster was a bad move. We are only two games into the season and sitting at 1-1. Give Blount the ball early and often. Oh, and Free was checking down to EG because it was that, take a sack, or throw the ball away. Sometimes it is better to help the punter. They should have run the ball more on 1st and 2nd, and they would not have been in those positions. The play calling was much better in the second half, and the player executed much better. the defense improved in the second due to the offense giving them a break once in a while. They gave up 17 points in the first half, but if you look at time of posetion it could have been much worse. The best way to keep the other team from scoring is to keep their offense on the sidelines.

  22. Dave Says:

    I don’t see Caddy or Lumpkin being a better option… or bradford. I think they need to get a speed guy. Maybe Madu? Who knows, but it is the reason I was high on Locke and some others in the draft (although Locke has proven to have major health issues).

    It is also the reason I mentioned Sproles several times. Watching him the first few games…. would have been nice if he wanted to play here instead.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree with giving Madu another shot. Put Lumpkin on the practice squad and activate Madu. The kid looked pretty good in the pre-season and can’t be worse than what they have going on now.

  24. big007hed Says:

    I was saying this throughout the whole game yesterday…. Graham is slow and old and can’t break any tackles…. Leave Blount in the game or put Lumpkin in… Do something different Graham isn’t cutting it

  25. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I was with you Thomas until you said Zuttah should be benched.

    As for Graham, watch the game. As soon as he catches the ball, he has 6 guys all over him with no blocking. Gayle Sayers couldn’t have gotten out of that. I agree 100% we need a change of pace back, but we don’t have one, so we have to work with what we have (I’m not that comfortable with Madu protecting the only franchise QB we have ever had). All that being said, I would love to see Blount get a few of Graham’s snaps, just to see what he could do. If Blount gets a full head of steam, good things tend to happen.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    In all fairness to Graham and the Line, they were excellent in the 2’nd half. In the 4’th quarter Earnest was getting 5-6 yds per carry and I’ll take that. I still the Bucs are trying to find their rhythm, or at least up until the 2’nd half, and then it was Mojo city. Zuttah did an excellent job the whole game, and sometimes the backs have to find the holes even if they aren’t always where they are suppose to be. It isn’t always an exact science unless you are the Patriots. Once the Bucs spread the field and took away the 8-9 in the box the run game started working.

    A win is a win and……… Go Bucs!!!

  27. nick Says:


    “Shaun, now you know how us fans felt about the quarterback position in the ’99 NFC Championship game!”


    Hey! It was either him or Dilfer

  28. Bucbeliever Says:

    Chris Rainey (or even Demps) would be fantastic. Talk about playmakers!

    But before I get excited, we got an important game Sunday…

    GO BUCS!

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I love watching Rainey & Demps. Those two guys rock and I’d take either one. Demps is Lightning quick but I think Rainey has a few more moves. Still both fast. When Charlie Weiss finally gets that offense dialed in they shoulc be awesome. Muschamp is one of the most passionate coaches I have ever seen. Gators are on the right track again.

  30. Captain Stagger Says:

    First I would like to thank Joe for creating an iPhone friendly forum to discuss what I feel was the biggest mistake of the off season. The apologist will say that Sproles wanted to play for the saints. But you are a fool if you don’t think the team with most cap space couldn’t have lured him in. He is by far the biggest game changer in the division, borderline NFL. He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever seen play, he’s only 28, and he has never been used as more than a role player. So am I to assume he will be washed up by the time we make our playoff run, and start picking up free agents again? Come on…..as a 3rd down back he has at least 5 very solid years ahead of him, and would have been the perfect player to fill that role. Instead, we will be watching Quincy Black picking his jock up off the field trying to tackle him. We all love Graham, but he is the offense’s version of a prevent defence. To further frustrate me, we pass on Taiwan Jones, Nic Grigsby, Chad Spann, just to name a few, for Bradford??? And don’t get me started on lumpkin, who was dropped by the RB starved Packers. I love this team, but this situation was not thought out, who got the bigger contract, Sproles or Black, and which is a difference maker?????????…..and off my soap box…..

  31. McBuc Says:

    Are we going to wine about the free agent thing all year, it is tired. The team is what it is at this point. get over it and move on.