Paying Homage To Earnest Graham

July 18th, 2013

mike james 0718

When the Bucs drafted Mike James this spring, it didn’t seem like an earth-shattering move. After all, just how many times could he touch the ball in a game playing behind star Doug Martin?

After a few OTAs and a minicamp, James’ versatility shone through. So much so that the Hurricanes product and Polk County native began to be compared with former Bucs everyman Earnest Graham.

Learning this, it both humbled and motivated James.

“I heard through the grapevine [the comparison to Earnest Graham] and I have a great deal of respect for someone like him,” James said. “He is a great guy. It is an honor to have my name compared to him. He’s done so much for this community and this team. He’s a guy I looked up to as a kid. I went to so many of his games here. It is an honor. I hope I can follow in his footsteps.

“As a second string running back, there are opportunities everywhere. There are opportunities on special teams. I am just trying to take advantage of the opportunities.”

Rabid Bucs fans know how high praise that is for James to be brought up in the same breath as Graham, a true team player. And the comparison came from rockstar general manager Mark Dominik. There wasn’t a thing Graham wouldn’t do to help a team win: special teams, fullback, running back, whatever it took. May be the ultimate Bucs team player.

If James can be half the player Graham turned out to be, James will become an absolute steal of a sixth-round pick.

19 Responses to “Paying Homage To Earnest Graham”

  1. Raphael Says:

    Agreed Joe, as a cane fan I have seen him a lot and I have seen the power and elusiveness and ability to catch the ball. I have seen them repeatedly hand him the ball to end games as well……dude can ball

  2. Raphael Says:

    Funny tho, graham for the first couple years was mr August , then would be cut or put on the practice squad, I new he was talented, you could see it…it was great when he broke through and was playing all the time….the unselfishness and his ability to make people miss in the open field was really underrated ….

  3. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Yeah I think this backfield will make Blount a distant memory. I hope Michael Smith has the same fire as James.

  4. The 300's Says:

    Kinda like our special teams captain today huh……

  5. Mean D Says:

    Can he play QB?

  6. Oahubuc Says:

    We always need an Earnest Graham. One of my favorite Bucs of all time.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    So Sean King is on the radio today…get ready to hear that famous line by Joe 😉

    Something about Mike James being satisfied with being a backup bugs me. I know we have Doug Martin starting…but shouldn’t every player be striving to earn a starting position?

  8. PRBucFan Says:

    All I can say is

    “I told you so”

  9. RastaMon Says:

    Earnest Graham was an accomplished finished product…..I am a UM fan since 1965 live in the Orange Bowl… Mike James has proved nothing….very very poor comparison

  10. BucfaninMi Says:

    Like the pic, kinda like an old school football card

  11. Mike J Says:

    Anybody besides me thak that Graham did not see the field near quickly enough??
    Water under the bridge, I suppose.

  12. PRBucFan Says:

    I’m a UM fan as well and Mike has proven he can be the total package and be a bell cow.

    I strongly disagree with you Rasta.

    We now have the perfect compliment to Dougie, the thunder to his lightning who unlike Blount can indeed handle the short and distance.

    Just wait and see.

  13. Free's A Boob Says:

    They don’t make a better team member than Graham. He would do well to model himself after Graham.

  14. Eric Says:

    Nice to see a young guy pay some respects to Mr. Graham. Those over performing guys are invaluable to a team.

    Those 05 and 07 teams had quite a few guys like that. Not a lot of fancy high picks but guys that played well together. Ike Hilliard another good example. Hovan too.

    Hope the kid does well.

  15. Mike J Says:

    PRBucFan , I am (quite definitely) not a Cane fan, but agree. I did not see a lot of James, but I liked what I did see. His versatility in the backfield is a big plus.One of those guys who might be a better pro than collegian.

  16. Biff Barker Says:

    Nice respectful young man. I’m not sure what is he supposed to say, I deserve to start ? We had that unneeded drama last year.
    Pretty cool he was able to see EG here as a kid too.
    Hope he pans out. It’s crunch time for the rooks.

  17. scubog Says:

    Eric: Ike Hilliard was a top 10 draft choice of the Giants and Chris Hovan was a high draft choice of the Vikings.

  18. PRBucFan Says:

    A couple highlights of James here

  19. Eric Says:


    But we had gotten them off the scrap heap.