Breaking Down the Running Backs

Published: January 31st, 2008
By Atop the Crow's Nest

With a talented group of running backs to their name, the Bucs have 4 strong runners who combine for big yards and needed touchdowns. Although two of them are free agents, and one may never play again, these runners are all very talented and underrated. Let’s break down the 2007 Buccaneers running backs:

Running Backs

RB Earnest Graham- Sitting on the bench as a third stringer for nearly 4 years, nobody expected anything fancy from Earnest Graham. In his fourth season, he scored only the first touchdown of his career early in the 2007 season. While he spent most of his career on special teams, injuries to Cadillac Williams and Michael Pittman forced Graham into the starting role. Call it a blessing in disguise. In only 10 starts, Graham rushed for almost 1,000 yards, added to the first touchdown of his career by getting 9 more, and set the franchise record for most consecutive games with a touchdown (6). He also proved to be a key receiver, catching the ball 49 times for over 300 yards. Graham provided a spark for the Bucs offense, and was considered the MVP for the Bucs offense.
RB Michael Pittman- Always a reliable veteran, Pittman took over the starting job early in 2007 due to an injury to Cadillac Williams. He started only one game before he was injured too. Even though he started in only 3 games, Pittman showed his leadership, and was a big presence on the Bucs sideline, cheering the team on. His role has been reduced to more of a third down back, but Pittman always brings his a-game, ready to help in any way he can.
RB Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams- Coming off of a mediocre sophomore season, Cadillac returned in 2007 to prove that his rookie year was no fluke. He played in only 4 games this season, enduring a terrible injury that raises questions about his future. Some are speculating that he will never play again. He enjoyed success in his only games this season, running for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. As the main back, losing Cadillac would be a blow to the Buccaneers organization.
RB Michael Bennett- When he was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs in October of this year, Bennett thought he’d see more action. He was brought in due to the injuries of Pittman and Williams. However, he spent a lot of time on the bench, watching Earnest Graham rack up the yards. He played in 8 games for the Bucs, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and ran in a touchdown. His future with the Bucs is unclear, as he is a free agent.

Although the job was spilt between four men, only one of them really prevailed. The Bucs had a nice running game, as they were 7th in the league in rushing touchdowns and average yards per rushing play. Even if the Bucs lose 3 of their 4 backs, the Bucs can still have an effective running game. If they all stay, then the Bucs can use the youth they have to stay a threat for years to come.