Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Joe Smith and Greg Auman

Graham on Gruden firing: "It might have been time"

22

January

Bucs running back Earnest Graham said Thursday in an interview with 620-WDAE that every coach has his "shelf life," and in regards to Jon Gruden getting fired last week, "it might have been time."

"Cause definitely, in the lockerroom there was definitely some separation in there," Graham said. "Definitely some guys had their issues. If you don’t have all guys on the same page in this league, you’re gonna find out on the field, It’s going to show up.”

As for Graham's relationship with Gruden, he said:

"It was pretty good- it was really good. I think he liked what I was about. I think it depends on the individual. I don't take too many things personally. I always felt like thigns were pretty fair. When I was a special teams player, I got treated like a special teams player. When I was a starting running back,I  got treated like a starter."

Graham appeared optimistic in his rehabbing from a season-ending ankle injury, mostly with pool workouts. “It feels great. Its getting a lot stronger. I can get out and run right now on the field if I wanted to….but we’ve got some time.”

Graham also talked about his love for new coach Raheem Morris, and now there's been a level of excitement with players around his hiring.

“He’s got our love, man,. Lot of guys in the lockerroom love (him). He speaks to us on the regular during team meetings, times when we’re down, he gives a speech and he’s always around, an animated guy, liked real well, does real well with the guys. Everybody was rooting for him.”

“A lot of us had been talking on the phone, anticipating what this season is going to be like. That new energy is always good…We’re gonna have fun, I think after a while, when different guys stop believing and its not as fun anymore. When you come into the lockerroom, now you’ve got to hear this and that, guy has a gripe with this…Right now, it’s a new slate. We have a clean slate.”

"You just have to really really believe in that person that is leading you. I think we start there. The team has a lot of love for this guy. We all want to see his coaching career get off to a fantastic start."

- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:23pm]

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