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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs couldn't stick with Graham as the hot back against the Saints



Bucs coach Raheem Morris began the season by saying he wanted to rotate running backs Cadillac Williams, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham.

The idea was to keep them all fresh and go with the hot back.

Graham had 31 yards on three carries in Sunday's 38-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints. But Graham's  role as the Bucs starting fullback prevented him from carrying the football more often, according to Morris.

Newly acquired fullback Chris Pressley still is learning the Bucs' offense and can only play in a limited number of formations. Graham took over as the starting fullback when B.J. Askew injured his neck/back in a car accident.

"Well you got to say yesterday (Graham) ran the ball better than Derrick Ward," said Morris. "[Graham] got the ball a couple of times, made some dynamic runs, and dynamic cuts. The problem is he's our starting fullback. He's been out there playing fullback for Cadillac and Derrick Ward. [Graham] is the most unselfish player on our football team. He's got to be one of them at least in the top five. We'd like to get him the ball. We threw a couple of balls to him in the flat. He's a weapon too as well."

Graham led the Bucs with 32 yards on 11 carries (2.9 average). Ward had 26 yards on seven carries against the Saints.

"The only problem with yesterday is Earnest is the starting fullback, so he got some one back runs and that is why he was in those series," Morris said. "In a two-back set the fullback was Earnest, unless it was the small package we had for Pressley yesterday. That wasn't much.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:49pm]


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