Bucs Call Mike James An “Earnest Graham Type”

April 28th, 2013

earnest graham 092110Yesterday, Joe wrote about how the Bucs flushed their quality No. 2 running back depth down the toilet for 2013 when they needlessly traded LeGarrette Blount to the Patriots for the NFL equivalent of a box of Q-Tips.

The Bucs then turned around moments later and drafted versatile University of Miami running back Mike James. Somewhat ironically, James was compared to Earnest Graham by rockstar general manager Mark Dominik, who was given the “Insurance” nickname by Raheem Morris.

“What makes Mike so special is he can play on first, second, third and fourth down, very dependable, very trustworthy. And out of all the respect in the world, an Earnest Graham type of player,” Dominik said. “Because I loved Earnest Graham and what he did for this organization. Mike’s a bigger, taller guy than Earnest, but Mike is selfless like Earnest and can really do a lot of different things.”

Joe’s written countless times about how good running backs can be had late in the draft every year. Perhaps James is one of those guys. But it’s still a gamble that James could fill the shoes of Blount if Doug Martin were to get hurt this season, a season in which the Bucs expect to be contenders.

45 Responses to “Bucs Call Mike James An “Earnest Graham Type””

  1. stevek Says:

    Pretty lofty comparison in my opinion, and I hope Mike James can fit the bill.

    I like this pick, versatility, selflessness, just wants to win. This is exactly the kind of guy you need in the locker room.

    An attitude, vibe, or behavior is infectious to the culture/ environment of the team, and having another selfless warrior will only make us better.

    This is a “win-win” in my opinion. Blount gets to go play with Talib and Tom Brady, win some games, and have a coach that will use him more frequently and better than Schiano did last year. In turn, the Bucs rid themselves of a conundrum and distraction: Blount rushed for 1K yards in 2010, and averaged 5 yards a pop, but no one will question that Doug Martin is our guy.

    Blount gets a fresh start, and the Bucs rid themselves of a distraction, and honestly, a guy that sucked as a backup. Blount needs about 10-12 carries to get it going, and gettting 3-4 a week with the Bucs is just pointless.

    I wonder if Michael Smith gets some playing time this year? Hope to see that little gremlin with the ball in his hands, making people miss, and giving us some field position.

  2. snook Says:

    Fill the shoes of Blount?

    No worries. A lot of guys can get stuffed on 3rd and 1 and also not be able to pass block.

  3. Cannuckbuc Says:

    Hey Joe, could Smith be converted to a slot man? Would like to hear your thoughts . I was just wondering

  4. kh Says:

    Joe if Blount was oozing with quality, how did he only bring a 7th when Chris ivory brought a 4th? Blount is very limited, I will be surprised if he makes an impact in New England, historically we’ve got the upper hand on trades with them.

  5. bucrightoff Says:

    Chris Ivory >>>> Blount

    So a 7th and a prospect who may never play, but has intriguing potential if he does, seems about right. Besides clearly Blount wasn’t going to get touches here, might as well give em to someone who a future on the roster.

  6. Baz Says:

    Stevek – Agree with you about this being a good thing for both us and Blount. Also about Blount needing a lot of carries to really get into the flow, even more so than other running backs.

    Joe – I love Blount, but he was a very poor fit for this offense with his needing to get a head of steam going, while Martin can make quicker adjustments in his running. James seems like he might be a better fit with quickness and his receiving ability and pass protection. I wish Blount all the success in the world, except when he’s playing against us! 🙂

  7. SirustheVirus Says:

    Can’t say I’ve seen alot of blocking from James, but he’s definitely a solid #2 back. Sucks trading Blount for a 7th round pick and Jeff Demps. Blount might not be as fast as Demps, but Demps isn’t running threw no one. Better use him on toss or screen plays.

  8. PRBucFan Says:

    James is a great back

    Great pick, beautiful 1-2 punch

  9. Andrew 1 Says:

    I dont think we are going to see Jeff Demps at all. him playing for the partiots was a rare sighting and he has stated he wants to run track. its kinda like how we traded for the right to Jake Plummer’s contract from the Broncos all those years ago and he never showed up. I expect the same thing to happen with Demps.

  10. Brandon Says:

    SirustheVirus Says:

    April 28th, 2013 at 12:11 pm
    Can’t say I’ve seen alot of blocking from James, but he’s definitely a solid #2 back.

    He played earlier in his career as a FB, even started a few games there. I’m pretty sure he blocked one or two people.

    I think at this stage he is a solid #3/4 back. Nothing special, won’t hurt you, probably won’t help you much either. He’ll get what’s there, nothing more, nothing less.

  11. lightningbuc Says:

    At least with Demps, the Bucs intramural track team got better.

    For a team wanting to build depth, the RB position looks pretty bare right now. Martin and then nothing.

  12. rrsrq Says:

    Initially, not happy with Bucs sending LGB to Pats, but hope he runs crazy in the AFC least, I think Tom Brady will show the Bucs that this guy can catch the ball out of the backfield. But excited about what Mike James will bring, which is everything he has got and whatever is asked, this guy had to ball with Lamar Miller and Duke Johnson at the U and he just kept right on with very talented backs. He is a guy who know how to get to the sticks (first downs), let’s go Bucs…

  13. J. Says:

    They should’ve picked up Lonnie Pryor out of FSU.

  14. Stu Laake Says:

    Blount was a two down RB. If the FO has worries sign an Ahmad Bradshaw type back for a year and allow Mike James to learn how to become an NFL 3 down back…personally I do not see him getting on the field all that much between Leonard and Martin.

  15. pancake block Says:

    mr. august is not exactly what I would call a lofty comparison…..

  16. DanTheMan Says:

    Blount rushed for 1,000 yards on 5 yards per carry. James was an average back at Miami who produced exceptionally average during his time. Comparing him to Earnest Graham who was a monster at UF and only went undrafted because of the idiocy of combines and “measurables” and went on to prove that great players are great players.

    Blount was a special talent that for whatever reason we gave up on.

  17. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Hopefully Mike James is related to Edgerin!

  18. stvcl Says:

    Don’t forget the Bucs got Mike James AND Jeff Demps for Blount. I’m very happy about this trade and believe Mark did a good job on pulling this one off!

  19. Chris Ellington Says:

    As someone who is a big time hurricanes fan I am very very familiar with Mike James, and he is a SOLID runningback and will be one of the big steals of this year’s draft!!!!

  20. Bucs Fan #238 Says:

    I’m Mike James biotch!!!

  21. lurker Says:

    sorry for your heartache joe. but the bromance can continue if you follow the bucs of the north!

  22. Bucs Fan #238 Says:

    Bellicheat loves Rutgers players.

    Wonder if it will last now that Schiano has moved on?

    Bellicheat also likes smart guys… He only drafts smart football players, not brain cramped retodds.

  23. SirustheAVirus Says:


    Show me were to see him blocking. All I said was I haven’t seen him block. Playing FB then going to RB doesn’t mean he can block. Seeing that on paper would make me think mabey he can’t block and he was better as a 3rd down back catching and getting those tuff short yards. Not downing the guy. Just haven’t herd anybody say “This guys is a solid blocker”

  24. GABA Says:

    Love the pick up being a canes fan also helps

  25. BamBamBuc Says:

    The comparison to Graham… does that mean James should have been undrafted and brought in as an UDFA? Graham had poor workouts to drop him out of the draft, James had a decent workout, but where was his production in college? Not once did he top 1000 yards in a season in college. Earnest Graham produce more yards each and every year of college than James did in his best year on the ground. Graham scored 11 more TDs in his collegiate career than James. What a waste of a pick. If we were gonna draft a RB, we should have moved up in the 4th to get Franklin from UCLA, at least he was productive in college (moreso even than Graham).

  26. Bucs Fan #238 Says:

    I am glad that Mark Dominik is much smarter and more informed than BamBamBigalow.

  27. snook Says:

    No one can seem to answer the question as to why if Blount is so valuable, then why is he only worth a 7th rounder?

  28. 76buc76 Says:

    You don’t drop to the 6th round without some question marks. Another guy with question marks from last years draft. Fellow 6th rounder Alfred Morris. Who freakin knows the draft is a crapshoot.

  29. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Can we get over the Blount trade and stop the lamenting already? Dominik & Schiano aren’t going to make moves with the intention of hurting the team. They did this because they saw after three seasons of practices and games that Blount just wasn’t what they wanted or needed. Stop all the second guessing and armchair GM-ing. It’s getting old. He’s gone and as we know from Dominik’s tenure as GM, he doesn’t let players go unless he’s certain the team can be better without them. His track record of cutting or trading players is stellar and he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  30. BamBamBuc Says:

    #238: All I did was show some facts, statistical facts. Not saying I know more than Dom, Stokes, Hickey or anyone else. However, statistically, James isn’t anywhere near as good as Graham who went undrafted. Franklin is better than both statistically and would have been available to us if we wouldn’t have taken the worst possible choice of QB in the 3rd. That’s not my take on Glennon, it’s Football Outsider’s formula that actually predicted Russell Wilson being a top QB last year when nobody else thought he’d be anything at all. Glennon is listed below Tyler Bray, who went undrafted. Barkley and Nassib were well above Glennon, and Landry Jones is listed as this year’s potential “Russell Wilson”.

    snook: Because he never had an opportunity after the 2011 season. Does he still fumble or is that fixed? Can he or can’t he catch? He can still run, he showed that against KC last year in the 4th qtr. Teams must question why he didn’t get more touches and will shy away from higher picks for him.

    76: you are correct, we won’t know for 3 years or so if this draft was worth anything or not. Possible it was an exceptional draft, possible it was Gruden-esque. I still recall the complaints of moving up to get Freeman when we could have stayed put and gotten Peria Jerry, but instead let him go to the Falcons…. well, I think we got the better of that, not to mention how screwed the Jets got in that draft, moving up so far to get Sanchez… However, to honestly assess our draft, don’t just see who makes our roster and improves our team, but keep an eye on guys like Damontre Moore, John Jenkins, Johnathon Franklin, Barkley and Nassib and see if we actually got the better players or if the better players just went to other teams and we got stuck with who we have.

  31. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m thinking the “Earnest Graham” like comment is because it sounds so much better than ” he’s very similar to our 6th round pick a couple years ago, very ‘Allen Bradford’ -like”… yeah, remember him? Big one-two punch to team with Blount that could only hold a spot on the team for 2 games, 5 carries, 13 yards before he was cut? Whew, glad they didn’t use that reference…

  32. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    FLBoyInDallas Says: April 28th, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    “They did this because they saw after three seasons of practices…”

    Two years. He didn’t have a full off season here the first year.

    We’ll see how he does with the Pats, but it doesn’t really matter for the Bucs now. It’s not like the Bucs don’t have better in Martin. I’ll be following to see how Blount does out of curiousity, but rooting for Martin more.

    As to James…I hope he can block…because we need a good blocking FB.

  33. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    @FLBoyInDallas, may I remind you that Mark Dominik has a terrible won/loss record ?
    It is something like 27 and 40, since the time he has been here, with the added bonus of back to back last place finishes in the NFC South.
    Calling him a “Rockstar” is sort of like calling Colonel Sanders a Cattle Rancher.
    He has made a lot of mistakes, let’s just hope Blount was not one of them.
    That said, I liked last years draft, and I like this one too, especially getting Revis.
    Go Bucs!!!

  34. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    “Quality?” I don’t think that anyone in the organization agrees with you.

    Playing RB today involves much, much more than being capable of a long run bc you jumped a corner.

    Ball security,pass blocking read and react, check down resp, pass catching resp, decoy resp etc – all are vital from the RB position.

    Schiano and Sullivan, Olsen etc will tell you Blount is well below average in nearly all of those areas.

    Bellichick believes his value to be at or near 7th round pick – he is right.

  35. Bobby Says:

    Listen, if Blount were as good or even as close to as good as Joe thinks he is then Schiano would have found some way to plug him in. Fact is, Blount either can’t grasp the system, blows his assignments during practice, or just plain doesn’t have the work ethic that this organization is looking for. Can he be productive? Yes, when he wants to be. That just doesn’t seem to be often enough. You just get tired of watching a guy rush 10 times for 1 ypc and then break off a 35 yd run and say that he averaged 4.4 yds per carry. I saw that out of Blount way too many times. He doesn’t have vision for the hole, has very limited cutback skills, and does NOT accelerate to the line of scrimmage to pick up what he can get when there is no hole. That’s the difference between Blount and a good RB. A good RB is either running hard to get whatever he can get in short yardage or, like Martin, he runs behind blocks and has the patience, vision and acceleration to get through small holes that open up.

  36. PRBucFan Says:

    The compassion is purely associated with both Earnest and Mike being versatile, dependable/durable runners nothing else.

    Mike James is a much different style of runner than Graham.
    He’s powerful like a Steven Jackson build with maybe a little more agility and better hands.

  37. PRBucFan Says:

    Comparison* Lolz

  38. lurker Says:


    yeah because dominick is coaching, passing, running, tackling, etc

    this team is stacked with talent. our cap situation is lovely, and will continue to be for the forseeable future. the trades and cuts he has made has been spot on. yes, he has made some bad signings, picks, and extensions, but has learned and improved the team. he was not resposible for the raheem morris hiring. those years, good and bad, are null and void in the glazers’ eyes.

  39. BamBamBuc Says:

    PRBuc…. if we got a Steven Jackson with better hands and agility in the 6th round I’ll be doing backflips on Clearwater Beach….

  40. BamBamBuc Says:

    Actually, if we just got a Steven Jackson in the 6th round I’d do backflips…. might even do somersaults for Brandon Jackson in the 6th… I might even applaud a James Jackson in the 6th…

    Don’t know them? Look them up…

  41. PRBucFan Says:

    Oh if only there were star football players that were found in the later rounds…

    If only… That’s right there have been 😉

    Lol What I said was that he’s got that build and type of style as a runner not that he was him or was going to produce like him. One things for sure is he will produce in a nice 1-2 punch.

    He does have better hands btw

  42. marks Says:

    Off-topic…..but this site loads so Slooow..even though I love it Joe.

  43. Cassidy Says:

    Dominik is hit and miss on guys he brings in (as all GMs are), but he usually knows what he is doing when he releases or trades players. Look at his history; it’s amazing.

  44. PRBucFan Says:


    Very awesome story on Mike James, inspirational

  45. Ronnie Says:

    Doug Martin
    Mike James
    Mike Smith
    poss Jeff Demps

    Looks good to me