When the Buccaneers announced that Earnest Graham would be taking over as the starting fullback, the biggest question was whether or not he could carry out the role of a typical fullback. One thing that we do now about Graham is that he is a grinder, and should be able to punch his way through on short yardage plays. In an effort to back up the Bucs’ decision on Graham’s new role, I compiled some statisitics that will hopefully convince you that Graham will be a great assest this season.
- In his career, Graham averages 4.1 yards per carry, but performs even better in the fourth quarter, where he is averages 5.2 yards per carry. He has scored 14 career rushing touchdowns, with 6 of them coming in the fourth quarter, and a total of 9 touchdowns in the second half. Knowing that Graham can finish off games will definitely come into use when the Bucs are caught in a tight game during the season.
- When the Bucs hold the lead, Graham is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, and has scored 10 of 14 rushing touchdowns when ahead.
- When the Bucs are at 1st/2nd/3rd/4th and goal, Graham has eight total touchdowns, showing that he is a reliable option deep in the redzone – a neccessary assest for any successful fullback.
- No team wants a fullback that struggles to hold on to ball, and for Graham, he has only 4 fumbles in his career, and 3 of these fumbles came when his team was trailing.
(Stats provided by Yahoo! Sports)