Published: August 31st, 2011

Rear Entry 93

GRAHAM IS THE THIRD DOWN BACK: Raheem Morris apparently said that Earnest Graham has won that competition, but Kregg Lumpkin still has a shot at some playing time.

“I want Kregg Lumpkin to run the ball, I want to see him protect, I want to see him catch the ball out of the backfield,” Morris said. “I want to see him go out and compete with Earnest Graham and give us the battle that I would like to see when they started camp. I’m not down on Kregg, but I certainly want to see him get back into this battle with Earnest to earn the right to play and show that he wants to play.”

It actually sounds like he is very much down on Kregg. This could cause some issues because Graham is also clearly the better fullback as well. But if Lumpkin can’t be the third-down back, the Bucs will rely on Erik Lorig at fullback. The answer is clear: clone Graham.

ONLY 2 QUARTERBACKS?: With the third quarterback rule out the window this season, the Bucs can have an emergency quarterback without worrying about playing him at other points during the game. And that sounds like that’s the way they’re going to go.

Morris indicated it’s possible the team could carry just two quarterbacks on its 53-man roster, pointing out that WR/KR Micheal Spurlock — who played some quarterback at Ole Miss — has been getting work in.

It obviously saves a roster spot which they can use for a much more worthy cause than a quarterback who will never see the field. Other teams may take a similar approach, so the total number of quarterback slots available in the NFL is going to go down by a handful this season. Sorry, Jonathan. I really tried.

Oh, and sorry for you, too, Rudy. I guess. But, you know, Arizona State and all… it’s hard to get worked up about you.

THREE QUARTERBACKS?: I should read more before I write these things, but where’s the fun in that?

“Rudy’s ‘Mr. August,’ ” Morris said. “He makes it hard for us to go with two guys because he plays well in August. He does well for us. He’s the ultimate game manager, he’s smart, he’s sharp, he’s into it, he’s a gym rat; just a great guy.”

I guess, but if you’re never going to use him, what’s the point? If both Josh Freeman and John Johnson go down, are you really going with Rudy Carpenter for the rest of the season or are you going to hit the waiver wire and see if there is someone with some game experience you can lean on? I guess it has a lot to do with how well the team is doing, but third-string quarterbacks don’t get a lot of playing time for a reason. I’m going to predict the Bucs stick with two.