Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breaking down the Bucs' backfield

There was a lot of preseason discussion about how the Bucs would divy up the carries among their running backs. New coach Raheem Morris eventually announced he'd be primarily using a "2-2-1" rotation, giving Cadillac Williams (remember him?) the first two series, free-agent signee Derrick Ward the next two and then holdover Earnest Graham a series.

That's more or less how it played out Sunday against Dallas. Cadillac was the most effective runner (13 carries, 97 yards, TD) and is looking about as good as he ever has after years of injuries. Caddy alternated with Ward (12 carries, 62 yards, TD), the popular pick among fantasy drafters. But surprisingly, Earnest Graham was a non-factor (1 carry, 1 yard). In fact, he didn't even want the ball when his coach offered to get him in the game. Unselfish, or just strange? I'll let you be the judge.

Cadillac has to be picked up off the waiver wire this week, even though there's a decent chance his weary legs won't last 16 games. I stil believe Ward will end up being the most valuable Bucs running back by season's end. And Graham obviously belongs on your bench until further notice.

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