Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris: Role of Earnest Graham reducing his carries

Bucs running back Earnest Graham is tackled by Saints linebacker Scott Shanle during the third quarter Sunday.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Bucs running back Earnest Graham is tackled by Saints linebacker Scott Shanle during the third quarter Sunday.

TAMPA — Bucs coach Raheem Morris began the season by saying he wanted to rotate RBs 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 Saints. But Graham's role as the starting fullback prevented him from having more carries, Morris said.

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

"Well, you got to say Sunday, (Graham) ran the ball better than Derrick Ward," Morris said. "(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."

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

"The only problem with (Sunday) 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 (Sunday). That wasn't much."

Injury update: RT Jeremy Trueblood left Sunday's game with a right knee injury. Morris had no update on his condition Monday but said the team is concerned.

"Any time a player goes down, you have concerns about it," Morris said.

MOVES: The Bucs signed former Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter from the Cowboys' practice squad, giving the team four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

But veteran Byron Leftwich is staying put. Leftwich, 29, went 0-3 starting for the Bucs after winning a training camp battle with Luke McCown, who was traded to Jacksonville.

But Leftwich has not practiced or played the past several weeks because of tendonitis in his right (throwing) elbow.

Carpenter was one of the most productive quarterbacks in Pac-10 history. He passed for 10,491 yards and 81 career touchdowns while making 43 consecutive starts.

Tampa Bay already has turned an eye to the future at quarterback. First-round pick Josh Freeman has taken over as the starter, and Josh Johnson, a second-year pro from San Diego who was 0-4 as a starter, is the No. 2 quarterback.

The Bucs are expected to sign former Nebraska WR Terrence Nunn from the Patriots' practice squad. Nunn ranks second on the Cornhuskers career receiving list and can provide help as a kick returner.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris: Role of Earnest Graham reducing his carries 11/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 23, 2009 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return

    Blogs

    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.