Graham Effective But Still Fumbling

September 18th, 2011

Is Earnest Graham really “Insurance Graham” if he’s got a fumbling problem?

Today, Graham fumbled and turned the ball over on a critical play that was called back for a Vikings offsides. Last week, he coughed up the rock on a 4th-and-1 and recovered himself but didn’t get the first down. Graham also fumbed on opening day against Cleveland in 2010, which cost him his job at the time as the Bucs’ short-yardage back. And he only had 20 carries in 2010.

Graham was money today late in the game chewing up yards on draw plays, and he caught the five balls thrown his way. Joe likes Graham, but would have preferred Cadillac Williams as Mr. Third Down.

Regardless, Joe can’t wait to see Blount work his way into more third-down action.

13 Responses to “Graham Effective But Still Fumbling”

  1. big007hed Says:

    Graham sucked today… Missed blitz pickups (his specialty?) and the fumble, he couldn’t break any tackles and looked extremely slow and ineffective… Leave Blount in the game!!!!

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Graham is a nice guy- but he isn’t the receiver, Blocker, or running back that Caddy is! Big mistake letting Caddy go with absolutely no plan B. Graham isn’t s third down back!

  3. BonesMahoney Says:

    I don’t understand why Blount isn’t used on 3rd downs at all. Even on 3rd and short they go to shotgun and bring Graham in. You can’t tell me Blount is THAT much worse at pass protection than Graham, not to mention it’s nearly a sure thing that they’re passing when Graham is in. Way too predictable.

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So…where is “Lumpy”?

  5. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Everyone is jumping on Earnest Graham, and I think rather unfairly. First of all, he does need to stop fumbling, no doubt. There is no defense for that (although he fumbled last week on fourth down trying to stretch the ball over when it was obvious he was short). However, I think people are upset with Graham because of the fact that he is getting the ball via a 2 yard pass on 3rd and longs, which is he always coming up short. Fact is, on 3rd and 16, not too many guys are going to take a check down pass and run it to the first down. You can’t blame Graham for that, he’s supposed to be an outlet. He got some big yardage for us today, and he did fine on pass protection. Is he Cadillac, probably not, but he’s not awful like so many of you are making him out to be. You are simply taking your frustrations with our offense out on him. Funny, so many people the last 2 years have been upset he hasn’t touched the ball more. My how the story flips. This guy has been a model player on and off the field and I can’t believe how many people are unfairly turning on him.

  6. Jorge Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc….I respectfully disagree with some of what you’re saying… I love what earnest has meant to this organization and community..but enough is enough…I know he gets a lot of 2-3 yard dink and dunks on 3rd and long etc, but so do most 3rd down backs and once in a while they are supposed to make something happen and break one for some kind of big gain…LIKE HE USED TO DO…but all these screens and plays for him that go NO WHERE…I think his best days are behind him

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Again, I’m not saying he is a Pro-Bowler, but on these 3rd and longs, Minnesota is keeping the ball in front of them, so no one is going to make a first down in that situation. Also, keep in mind that all these short gains are at times when our offense is doing ZERO to move the ball. Hell, even I know where the ball is going before we even snap it (and I would guess 99% of the rest of us know it too). He did average 6 yards per carry, which last I checked is pretty good. I don’t see anything he did wrong, nor do I see any plays he didn’t make that anyone else on our team could have. I would, however, love to see Blount get some passes out of the backfield.

  8. Jorge Says:

    @Hawaiin Buc I understand all that, and I’ll concede he isn’t in a great position to take it to the house on 3rd and 15…but AGAIN no more screens and gadget plays where he is the FOCUS…he did pick up some pretty good yardage on the draws when we were in shotgun running clock on our way to score, but I could argue that the D was pinning their ears back going for Freeman and Graham stumbled his way past them…I remember when Earnest would always fall forward! and I have heard him say (radio) how he didn’t understand how RBs ever don’t fall forward..I think he is beat up and his age is catching up to him…I love the gay, but please don’t make me watch him be subpar….I watched #55 make so many amazing plays and one of the one’s that stick out/haunts me most is him be out of position and getting almost ran over by deangelo williams that night they torched us for what ever ungodly # of yards

  9. Jonny Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc: At least 1 out of 10 times 3rd down backs receive a catch on 3rd and long situations, they convert. Did you watch how Gerhart converted 3rd and 16 on a screen pass? Half of that was blocking, half of that his speed and elusiveness. With Graham he cannot even make the first guy after the catch miss. Cadillac himself was much better than Graham.

    Graham makes so many catches, imagine a guy like Sproles, Blount or Cadillac himself making those catches. The extra yards obtained for the whole game with same number of touches could be around 20 at least.

  10. Paul Says:

    I want to see Blount get all of those check-downs that Graham is getting.

  11. mikeck Says:

    I miss Caddy. He would have resigned for twice the league minimum and a pack of baseball cards. WTF?

  12. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Watch the game again. Comparing Graham’s plays with Gerhart’s is ridiculous. Gerhart is no burner, probably not any faster than Graham.

  13. Adam L Says:

    He had 3 “___ and 1” situations against the Lions last week. He failed every time. Why Olson INSISTS on giving the ball to his SLOW, fumble-fingered RB who keeps changing jobs to stick on the roster instead of giving the ball to his freight train (Blount) or the BIGGEST QB IN THE LEAGUE ON A KEEPER is beyond me.