Could Graham Be Better Than Blount?

October 16th, 2011

First, the really good news. Earnest Graham told Joe he feels 100 percent coming out of the Saints game. No bruises. No tweaks. No cobwebs in his head.

And considering Graham ran for 109 yards on just 17 carries and Joe can’t find anyone that thinks LeGarrette Blount will play Sunday in England, that was critical, especially considering Graham’s history of injuries.

Watching Graham rekindle his 2007 glory today, Joe wondered briefly whether Graham could be more versatile and dangerous than Blount?

Don’t get Joe wrong, Joe thinks Blount is a stud, but Graham was stellar, running hard and flashing elusiveness Blount doesn’t have.  Joe asked Donald Penn about Graham, and Penn suggested Graham might be the better back.

“We knew Earnest Graham was going to bring it to the table. You remember that year when he came in and took over for Cadillac and almost had 1,000 yard rushing? We knew Earnest Graham would come through. Earnest Graham knew Earnest Graham he would come through,” Penn said.

“You know, he’s a veteran. Blount’s still learning and he’s got a great guy to learn from, but you know Earnest Graham has been there a lot. He knows how to read those holes a little better. You know, Blount’s still learning. You know, Blount’s probably going to sit down with E.G. and watch this film and be like, ‘Damn, OK. Let me see what [Graham’s] seeing.’ And it’s going to help him out. We’re going to be a lot better.”

Joe’s just grateful right now that the Bucs can afford to have Blount miss the Bears game Sunday (then rest/rehab during the bye week) and really get his knee healthy. The Bears have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, which doesn’t hurt.

As for Graham, he says he’s down to 225 pounds, from 235 as a fullback in 2010, and looking to get down to his 2007 playing weight of 220 soon. He said he’s feeling some extra quickness. And Joe’s pretty sure everyone saw it.

23 Responses to “Could Graham Be Better Than Blount?”

  1. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    So many people were so sure GRaham would be washed up just because he is 31 years old. They didnt take into account that Earnest has spent most of his career on the bench or playing fullback. He’s legs are about as fresh as 31 year running backs can be. Looks like Dom made the right decision in letting Caddy walk. Chalk up another win for the “rock star”.

  2. loweredexpectations Says:

    i can’t believe most were so down on him coming into the game. i think some of us might be very short sighted as tampa fans.

    graham had done nothing but wonderful things for this football team, year in and year out. anyone who doesn’t see that doesn’t know football.

    darren sproles, who?

    GO BUCS!!!

  3. jlynch Says:

    E.G. follows his blocker andknows the play unlike blount how cant seem to follow a fullback and stutters and goes through the first bit of daylight he sees.

  4. thibs5599 Says:

    lets not get crazy people, we know who the better back is and its blount. The saints are giving up 5.2 yards per rush before the game started and thats almost half a yard more than when the bucs were the worst run defense in the league the past few years. so that helps as well. yes graham reads the holes a little bit better but how about the few times he got stuffed at the line with graham you know hes not breaking through, blount on the other hand was top 3 in the league with yards after contact before he got injured. im glad graham had a good game and looked a lil quick out there, i think lumpkin would have had a good day as well given the chance our Oline is helping out alot as well

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    That was a Saints defense giving up over 5 yards a carry so far this season. I think they might have the second to last rush defense in the league.
    Listen, I’m happy for Graham, but lets not get crazy here. Lumpkin looked good when he got the ball too against that same defense.

  6. Joke Says:

    I thought Graham looked great and did a great job reading the plays, but no Joe — I didn’t see any quickness from Graham.

  7. kh Says:

    agree, Lumpy looked good again, he’s done well all season in spite of the harsh things Joe said about him in the preseason.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    Thanks thibs for stealing my thought. 😉

  9. Dew Says:

    Graham was named the state of Florida’s “Mr. Football” in 1997, and was named a Parade magazine high school All-American.

  10. big ron Says:

    were did all the hate for e.g and tjack go

  11. sensiblebuc Says:

    “lets not get crazy people, we know who the better back is and its blount.” -thibs


  12. Leighroy Says:

    Could he be? Sure, on his best day such as today. But Blount on his best day would pale that in comparison. If Blount was healthy today, we could have been discussing his first 200 yard game.

    Offensive line played great, and Saints D played as expected against the run. Grahm did his job and did it well, give it up to him for that, but obv Blount is our better back, no question imo.

  13. Fear The Glow Says:

    Ive said many times over the last two years that Graham was being wasted playing as a mediocre fullback. I know im not the only one that wanted to see him get more carries.

    Its fun watching “Ole Faithful” do his thing again.

  14. D.P. Boo Says:

    Caddy was better lol

  15. Buc_The_World Says:

    You are asking the wrong question Joe. The question should be is Zuttah better than Faine?

  16. Patrick Says:

    @Fear the Glow

    I fee the same way. Graham being at fullback was a bad decision from the beginning. I’ve been saying it for the past 2 years. We could’ve had two more successful seasons from him in 2009 and ’10 if they had left him where he belongs. He probably would’ve seen at least one pro bowl, seeing how well he played back in ’07 and ’08.

    But I’m glad he’s running it again! Blount finally has some help and doesn’t have to carry the workload. Also, he’s faster, changes direction quicker, etc. Things that Blount isn’t as good at. Don’t get me wrong, Blount is a great player but his running style is just different from Graham’s.

  17. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Could Graham be better than Blount? No.

    It was one game, guys. Preston Parker had two good games this year but no one is questioning if he is better than Mike Williams.

  18. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Buc The World “Is Zuttah Better than Faine? Yes.

  19. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Tampa has held Graham back all his career, IMHO. He could have been a starting feature back, and a good one, on many NFL teams. Instead of complaining, or asking for a trade, he just quietly does his job, though in the twilight of his career.

  20. jarrett Says:

    Graham is not a better runner than blount, but our offense is actually better with graham, because we can disguise our plays. When blount is in everyone knows we will run. Graham can protect, catch and run, which makes our offense less predictable, and more versatile

  21. Captain Stagger Says:

    Per Stephan Holder on twitter last night the Bucs are looking into getting Chad Spann……Dream come true???? Joe have you heard anything?

  22. Brad Says:

    I just hope your wrong and Blount plays in England. Dude is a game changer. Have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by Graham yesterday but lets not get crazy, he’s not even in the same zip code as Blount. At least in the running category. I do think Graham is the more complete back and brings stability but give the O line some credit too. It was amazing listening to everyone last week after loss.. Blount sucks, Freeman sucks, Williams sucks, Winslow sucks.. We’re moving to England.. The sky is falling. This town is just riduculous and has so many fair weather fans including or media… Go Bucs.

  23. gotbbucs Says:

    graham was given a couple shots at being the bell cow for this team and every time the bucs tried to give him a full workload he got hurt.