RB Earnest Graham - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5-9, 215Born: 1-15-1980College: FloridaDrafted: ---

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Game Recaps

2011 Week 1 vs DET (6 / 13 / 0 rush, 9 / 8 / 58 / 0 rec)

Graham stepped in as the change of pace back for LeGarrette Blount, but he was somewhat more effective against the Lions and ended up with better stats. While Graham was just as ineffective running the ball against the tough Detroit front four, his ability to take the short check-down passes and turn them into longer gains made him much more effective for Tampa in this game. His two biggest gains came on the final drive of the game: two catch and run type plays for 12 and 16 yards. The final reception was on the final play of the game, and Graham started the multiple laterals that eventually led to a fumble and ended the game for Tampa. Overall, Graham was more effective at moving the ball because of his receiving skills, and it appears that he and Blount are going to share the workload when it comes to running the ball.

2011 Week 2 vs MIN (3 / 18 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 21 / 0 rec)

Graham continued to be the guy that Freeman used in the short and medium passing game. Graham was just as ineffective at running the ball as Blount was in the first half, but his contributions in the passing game were somewhat better. Freeman dumped the ball to Graham a couple times when he was under pressure, and Graham was able to pick his way up field for medium gains and help keep the chains moving. He was dropped for a big five yard loss on one particular screen, but aside from that, his yards per reception were pretty good for a guy out of the backfield against a stingy defense. When Blount began to do some damage in the second half, Graham became a secondary story for the rest of the game. He also fumbled once, but was lucky enough to have the play called back due to a holding penalty. Look for him and Blount to continue to split carries, with Graham being the primary receiver out of the backfield.

2011 Week 3 vs ATL (2 / -1 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 37 / 0 rec)

If you play in PPR leagues you might want to take a look at Graham for a possible bye week fill at flex spots. Why you might ask? He is a PPR machine right now and has 20 receptions already for the Bucs. That it isn't likely to stay that way as the Bucs are trying to iron out their WRs but until then Graham is collecting a lot of short balls and dump offs. he almost had a touchdown that was called back but had he scored he would have ended up with about 15-17 points n most PPR formats. Freeman loves to dump the ball off to him and the Bucs were doing a lot of this last year with Cadillac Williams. Graham has 1,000 yards rushing in a season on his resume so if Blount were to miss time it seems apparent that Graham would fill the biggest part of that hole left behind. He isn't flashy, he didn't have a defining moment in the passing game, but he is getting touches and even though they are dump offs he is open all the time. Defenses are preoccupied with Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow so take advantage of that.

2011 Week 4 vs IND (2 / 24 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)

Towards the end of the 1st half they went to Graham in the 2 minute offense. He caught 3 balls on that drive and also burst for a 20 yard run. Blount had a terrific night so there was no reason to turn to graham in order to spark the running game but he racked up 51 yards on 5 touches so you might think the Bucs would want to use him more. he definitely is in there when they are in throwing mode but even then he sometimes can split plays with Lumpkin. Graham is still on pace for about 80 receptions this year so keep an eye on him especially with bye weeks looming

2011 Week 5 vs SF (5 / 30 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Was used in the usual 2 minute offense and took a couple hand offs out of the shotgun but the Bucs did not target him on 3rd down like they had up until this point. He has been an asset for owners as a flex option but the last couple weeks have been very quiet.

2011 Week 6 vs NO (17 / 109 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)

Last week we dissected Jahvid Best's spectacular 88 yard touchdown run and this week we are going to highlight a major run by Graham that helped the Bucs get out of their own end zone and ended up being the key play on a 6:00 drive that ended in points and kept the Saints on the sidelines. Graham started slow and then they dialed up a play called "Double Down, Kickout, Scream for Blood" and we're going to explain how this play worked. Demar Dotson, a reserve 6-9, 315 lb Tackle lined up on the right side where the TE would normally be to the right of the RT and then he had Arrelious Benn lined up over him. When the ball was snapped Dotson blocks down left with the RT creating a perfect seal so that there is a clear running lane. Erik Lorig the FB runs thru the hole and attacks the LB waiting so that now Earnest Graham has only one guy to beat and that's the Safety Roman Harper. Apparently Harper can only tackle guys when they don't see him coming because he whiffed badly at Graham who managed to run thru his ankle attempt and was off to the races for 34 yards to match his jersey number. This was one of the turning points of the football game as it gave the Bucs a lot of confidence to run the football without LeGarrette Blount who is nursing a bad knee. Later on that same drive graham picked up a huge screen play on 3rd and long for a first down. Graham accounted for over 50 yards on that one drive alone. Graham is very patient and in some ways is actually better than Blount who mostly slams it up inside where Graham waits to let his blockers develop their assignments and then find the hole to run through.

2011 Week 7 vs CHI (2 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -2 / 0 rec)

Graham had a nice run to open the action and another stubborn carry for a few yards, but soon enough he tore his achilles on a reception when it appeared that his toe stuck in the Wembley Stadium turf.

2010 Week 1 vs CLE (6 / 10 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

He spelled Cadillac at times and had what could have been a costly fumble late in the game. Not sure why the Bucs went with Graham over Huggins as their change of pace back in this game but Graham didn't impress and in fact might have cost himself playing time down the road.

2010 Week 2 vs CAR (3 / 1 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 33 / 1 rec)

Graham had limited opportunity in this game, but made the most of it when it was available. Freeman's first touchdown pass of the day came on a pass into the right flat to Graham, who took it into the end zone easily. DE Greg Hardy was supposed to be in the coverage, but Freeman spotted the rookie's lapse, delivering a catchable ball to Graham. Graham made some contributions in the passing game as an outlet receiver for Freeman. He also lined up at full back often. Although Graham has a backseat role to Williams, the Buccaneers appear to have faith in Graham to get the job done in the event that Cadillac Williams were to be injured.

2010 Week 3 vs PIT (2 / 13 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 57 / 0 rec)

Graham saw most of his work in the 2nd half. His biggest play of the game was a 46 yard reception that started off as a short pass or check down and then Graham took it up field as Pittsburgh was well ahead at that point in the football game. Graham is the best option for Tampa Bay as their 3rd down back however he is not always lined up on the field in those situations.

2010 Week 5 vs CIN (3 / 65 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Hard to start this guy but he seems to make plays. The Bucs needed a short plunge for a touchdown and Graham was given the opportunity to score and he came thru. His big run was with the Bucs pinned deep in their end of the field and Graham busted thru a hole on the left side of the line and then ran as fast as he could. Graham has no speed and if it had been Chris Johnson it would have been 6 points but Graham was wrestled down at about midfield. It also is interesting that when the Bucs were pinned deep and also needed a short yd for touchdown that they turned to Graham.

2010 Week 6 vs NO (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham was barely used in this game because of an injury, but he should be fine for week 7.

2010 Week 13 vs ATL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham was not used much in the offense, but had a big play in a goal line package with a touchdown pass on a halfback option play. Graham took the handoff and flipped a pass to backup TE John Gilmore for the score.

2010 Week 14 vs WAS (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Did some damage run blocking but is not called upon to do much else.

2010 Week 16 vs SEA (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

Graham, who was already seeing very few opportunities, went down with a neck injury on his only touch, a short catch over the middle.

2009 Week 1 vs DAL (1 / 1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham never really got the "1" in the 2-2-1 split the Bucs had said they were going with at RB. He got one carry, and he did throw a lead back that Derrick Ward followed to score his TD, but it looks like Graham will go back to a support role until one of the backs ahead of him go down with an injury.

2009 Week 2 vs BUF (2 / 16 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

Graham got one series, and while he ran with great determination, he lacked an initial burst or quickness to make him a threat to do more than gain whatever yards were opened up by the offensive line's blocking. He is clearly the third best back on the roster.

2009 Week 4 vs WAS (5 / 8 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

Graham got some work to spell Cadillac, but he's a backup/two-minute drill RB, not a committee back, even with Derrick Ward out. Graham lacked the initial burst to threaten good gains, but he did show his ability as a receiver by getting low to pick a ball off of the turf.

2009 Week 10 vs MIA (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)

Graham appears to be the odd-man-out in the Buccaneers rushing game. He finished the day with one touch (a 16 yard reception) and is only getting on the field to spell Ward or Williams for a play or two.

2009 Week 11 vs NO (3 / 31 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)

Graham was more involved in this game than he has been all year, and he gave the Bucs reason to keep him involved. He did good work as a receiver out of the backfield, and he broke multiple tackles on his carries. He is still mostly getting on the field as a fullback, but Graham demonstrated on Sunday that if event ever line up for him to get more work as a tailback, he'll produce.

2009 Week 12 vs ATL (1 / 0 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)

Graham was missed on a 3rd down target, but otherwise was barely involved in the offense, one week after the Bucs said he deserves more playing time.

2009 Week 14 vs NYJ (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham converted a 4th and 1 to get the Bucs first first down of the day (in the second half), but otherwise he wasn't used in the offensive game plan.

2009 Week 16 vs NO (1 / 8 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 43 / 0 rec)

Graham didn't get much work as a running back, but he did catch a lot of passes and looked spry after the reception, breaking tackles and gobbling up yards after the catch. Graham also got a deep end zone target, but the ball was overthrown. He suffered a toe injury in the game that landed him on IR.

2008 Week 1 vs NO (10 / 91 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)

Graham had success running the ball against the Saints, rushing ten times for 91 yards, but unfortunately for him and the Buccaneers, they turned to more of an aerial attack and couldn't translate that success into big yardage totals. At the same time, Graham split carries with Warrick Dunn nearly 50/50, with Dunn chipping in with nine rushes. Graham was targeted three times in the passing game, catching all three for a total of 27 yards.

2008 Week 2 vs ATL (15 / 116 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)

For the second week in a row, Earnest Graham looked like the best offensive player on the Tampa Bay roster. Graham rushed for 116 yards on 15 carries and caught one pass for 12 yards in the passing game. While he split carries with Warrick Dunn, Graham is still the clear starter and the guy you want in the Buccaneers backfield. Graham put the game away for Tampa Bay on a 68 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter after Atlanta cut the deficit to eight points that put the Buccaneers up 24-9. Graham also had an eight yard touchdown run nullified for a holding penalty.

2008 Week 3 vs CHI (12 / 16 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Earnest Graham looked like he didn't know what to do with the ball. He was stuffed on many plays with what looked like little effort and lack of vision. There were times that other spots opened up along the line but Graham could not get there. Warrick Dunn seemed to have no problem shifting and getting a few yards when nothing was there. However, that was not the case for Graham.

2008 Week 4 vs GB (20 / 111 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

Held in check during the first half, Graham accumulated 103 of his 111 yards over the final two quarters of the game. His long run of 47 yards came as Tampa Bay was attempting to run out the clock late in the fourth quarter and he just missed a touchdown on the play after he was pushed out of bounds near the one yard line. On the very next play, Graham scored his second rushing touchdown of the year when he plunged into the end zone from one yard out.

2008 Week 5 vs DEN (10 / 59 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 21 / 0 rec)

Graham continued to have success running the ball for Tampa Bay, as he carried the ball ten times for 59 yards, a 5.9 ypc average, and added five receptions for 21 yards on six targets in the passing game. Unfortunately for Graham and his owners, he once again split time with Warrick Dunn, who finished with one more carry than Graham.

2008 Week 6 vs CAR (5 / 11 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 47 / 0 rec)

With Tampa Bay already missing starting FB B.J. Askew and an early injury to backup Byron Storer, Graham was forced to shift to full back for most of the game. As a result, he carried the ball just five times for 11 yards, but he was able to get in the end zone from one yard out in the fourth quarter. On the scoring play, Graham lined up at fullback with Dunn deep in the backfield and took the handoff up the middle for the score. Graham was also targeted three times in the passing game where he came down with two receptions for 47 yards.

2008 Week 7 vs SEA (23 / 52 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)

Graham seemed to be the favored back in Tampa Bay. He was not always featured but he was utilized in different ways. He was in as a fullback, split back, single-back, etc. He slipped out of the backfield for a couple of short passes netting him 13 yards.

2008 Week 8 vs DAL (17 / 42 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 22 / 0 rec)

Graham was the workhorse of the Buccaneers offense. He played the majority of the game from the halfback position, but was moved to fullback when the offense was faced with short yardage situations. Rarely coming out of the game for a breather, he showed good stamina as he gained half of his total yardage during the final 20 minutes of the game. He showed quickness and toughness as he did not go down on first contact; it usually took a host of defenders to bring him down. Called upon five times when the Bucs needed to gain one yard for the first down, he was successful on three of the carries.

2008 Week 9 vs KC (19 / 62 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 29 / 0 rec)

Graham led the Buccaneers with 19 rushes for 62 yards on the ground and added another five receptions for 29 yards in the passing game. He also lost two fumbles that cost Tampa Bay and was not on the field much in the overtime. Graham did throw a three yard touchdown pass on a trick play where he connected with TE Alex Smith.

2008 Week 11 vs MIN (1 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham had just one rush for three yards before he left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury. He came into the game with a sore knee, but had his leg and ankle rolled on while being tackled on his only carry and did not return.

2007 Week 3 vs STL (8 / 75 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham entered the game in relief of Cadillac Williams and made the most of his opportunity. He ran the ball eight times, totaling 75 yards and rushing scores from eight and 28 yards out, putting the game away for Tampa Bay. Graham showed nice burst and decision making in picking his holes, and showed his toughness by not going down on first contact on a number of plays.

2007 Week 4 vs CAR (17 / 48 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Graham split time with Pittman after Cadillac Williams left the game with an injury. Graham ran for 48 yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown from the one yard line. Tampa had gotten to the Carolina 13 yard line when Graham came into the game. He carried three straight times for the score. Later in the game, with the ball at the Carolina four yard line, Graham got four chances to score. The Panthers defense stepped up and held Graham out of the end zone on four straight plays.

2007 Week 5 vs IND (6 / 11 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)

Graham had a tough time running the ball against the Colts defense. There was rarely a hole to hit, and the Buccaneers quickly gave up the run game. Graham did catch both balls thrown his way, and showed the ability to get away from tacklers when given the chance.

2007 Week 6 vs TEN (13 / 29 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 17 / 0 rec)

Graham ran the ball 13 times for just 29 yards and caught six passes for 17 yards on a team high 11 targets in the passing game. While he got a lot of touches in the ballgame, Graham could not do much with his opportunities with a long of just ten yards.

2007 Week 7 vs DET (19 / 92 / 0 rush, 18 / 13 / 99 / 0 rec)

As if it wasn't evident in the stat line, Graham truly did it all in this game. The entire offense essentially ran through him, and he responded by performing like a workhorse. His 32 touches were more than the rest of the team had combined (28), and he looked outstanding in compiling his 191 yards from scrimmage. Graham picked up chunks of yards at a time, consistently moving the pile and picking up first down after first down. He was very physical, and picked up a lot of tough yards running inside between the tackles. He was consistently open on the underneath dump-offs, and it was evident that he knew what to do with the football in his hands. Take it with a grain of salt since it was against the Detroit defense, but on this day at least, Graham looked every bit a featured back. About the only negative one can find with his performance is that he failed to find the end zone. He had an opportunity early in the second quarter, but was stuffed at the five yard line after a nine yard reception. WR Ike Hilliard caught a wide open touchdown on the following play.

2007 Week 8 vs JAX (14 / 62 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)

Graham played well with the limited opportunities he was given. He broke tackles on several running plays, and ran good routes in pass coverage. One of his receptions was called back due to penalty and he was open on another pass play but the pass was thrown behind him.

2007 Week 9 vs ARI (34 / 124 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)

The game's offensive star, Graham was most effective between the tackles and finished the game with a career high 34 carries for 124 yards and one touchdown. He ran hard and with determination and overpowered the Cardinals defense often.

2007 Week 11 vs ATL (17 / 102 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

Graham got off to a slow start in the first half, rushing seven times for 27 yards, but picked it up in the second half on his way to 102 yards on 17 carries. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, and that showed on a fourth quarter 26 yard touchdown run. Graham continued to show a skill set that has helped him be successful to this point with excellent cut back vision and tough running in between the tackles. He also caught the only pass thrown to him for a six yard reception.

2007 Week 12 vs WAS (21 / 75 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

Earnest Graham could not find much running room against the Redskins, as he finished with 21 rushes for 75 yards and had a long run of 12 for the game. He was able to get into the end zone, scoring from one yard out in the first quarter. Graham was targeted four times in the passing game and caught two of those targets for nine yards.

2007 Week 13 vs NO (22 / 106 / 1 rush, 8 / 7 / 37 / 0 rec)

Earnest Graham ran the ball 22 times for 106 yards and added a 25 yard touchdown run while he shouldered the load for the Buccaneer rushing attack. He also contributed seven receptions for 37 yards in the passing game, including a 21 yard catch and run that set up the game winning touchdown. Graham ran the ball hard, showed great vision and has a nasty stiff arm that he used along the way to over 100 yards rushing.

2007 Week 14 vs HOU (15 / 61 / 2 rush, 11 / 6 / 45 / 0 rec)

Graham finished with 15 rushes for 61 yards and two rushing touchdowns on the ground, and added six receptions for 45 yards in the passing game. He continued to run hard, and while he doesn't have breakaway speed, he uses his workmanlike attitude to get the most out of every run. His touchdown runs came from four and 11 yards out, and his 11 targets were a team high.

2007 Week 15 vs ATL (22 / 79 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 40 / 0 rec)

Earnest Graham once again shouldered the load for the Buccaneers on the ground, rushing the ball 22 times for 79 yards and a one yard touchdown, and adding five receptions for 40 yards to lead the club in receiving as well. Graham continued to make plays on the ground and through the air and was the second most targeted receiver, finishing with five for the game.

2007 Week 16 vs SF (9 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)

Graham played in the first half, where he finished with nine rushes for 21 yards and two receptions for 11 yards. He watched the rest of the game from the sidelines with the rest of the starters.

2007 Week 18 vs NYG (18 / 63 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 27 / 0 rec)

Earnest Graham ran the ball 18 times for 63 yards and added a first quarter touchdown from one yard out that put Tampa Bay on the board 7-0. Unfortunately for Graham and the Buccaneers, that was the only scoring they could manage until the fourth quarter. Graham was also used in the passing game, as he received six targets and brought in four receptions for 27 yards.

2006 Week 12 vs DAL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

Graham caught a short pass for four yards in the fourth quarter, and was later targeted once again in the final period but the ball was batted down by the Dallas defensive line.

2006 Week 13 vs PIT (4 / 35 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham had twice the number of carries he's had all season and led the team with 35 yards, all during garbage time in the fourth quarter, including 33 yards on his final three carries.

2005 Week 4 vs DET (4 / 15 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham saw all of his carries in the fourth quarter in relief of Williams and Pittman.

2005 Week 5 vs NYJ (7 / 18 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham was a non fantasy factor only rushing for 18 yards on seven attempts.

2005 Week 6 vs MIA (17 / 50 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Graham helped shoulder the load, relieving Pittman on occasion, and finished with 50 yards rushing on 17 attempts. He did have a fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a Dolphins' touchdown, but Gruden showed confidence in him, giving him seven carries after the fumble.