Three years removed from the last time he’d performed the role of featured running back, Earnest Graham effortlessly and willingly stepped into that job today with stunning results.
With bruising back LeGarrette Blount out with a knee injury, Graham turned in a 109-yard performance, averaging 6.4 yards on 17 carries.
Among his runs were several lengthy gains, including a long run of 34 yards. Equally impressive was his ability to make tacklers miss, even at 31 and without awe-inspiring athleticism.
Graham showed the value of being a patient runner and displayed his veteran savvy and vision. As a result, the Bucs’ running game didn’t miss a beat.
“Everybody makes a big deal about quickness and speed, but I’ve found out over the years that I haven’t had a problem making long runs,” Graham said. “I don’t look like Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson when I do it, but I’ve never had a problem making explosive plays.
“You have to work with your offensive line. For me, it’s setting up the block