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Graham Is Bucs Insurance Policy On Third Down

by Roland Johnson on August 1, 2011

Bucs looking to Graham to fill void on third-down

Seventh year running back Earnest Graham, who holds the franchise record for receptions in a single game with 13 is the front runner to replace Carnell Williams as the team third down back at the moment. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson wants to work Kregg Lumpkin, who’s been in the offense for a full year, into the mix. However, if the season were to start today, Graham would be the number two behind incumbent LeGarrette Blount. “I have a real trust factor with Earnest,” Olson told the St. Petersburg Times. “I just really trust the guy. I know right now, if we played a game today, he’d be that guy. He’d be the third-down back.”

Moving Graham from fullback to tailback, and the emergence of Erik Lorig at fullback late last season gives the team a multitude of options. Graham has been a steady, reliable runner and pass receiver throughout his NFL career. Mister versatile to most, He’s averaged 4.2-yards per carry, on 440 attempts with 15-touchdowns and 1,841 rushing yards. He has also amassed 103 receptions for 741-yards. His long journey saw him work his way onto the roster from being an undrafted player, who bounced on and of the practice squad, to an eventual starter.

Former USC running back and the teams’ sixth-round pick Allen Bradford is also an option, albeit an outside option due to the fact there were no OTA’s this off-season do to the labor strife.

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