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News » BUCS NOTEBOOK 2009-05-15


BUCS NOTEBOOK 2009-05-15


BUCS NOTEBOOK  2009-05-15
RB Graham ready to start season now


TAMPA - Bucs RB Earnest Graham is ready for the season to begin now.

Graham said he is fully recovered from the season-ending ankle injury sustained against Minnesota in mid-November.

Graham said if the season began today, he would be ready to play.

"I'm fine. I'm at 100 percent," Graham said. "I'm ready to rock. I'm good."

Graham's recovery is good news for Tampa Bay, which plans to run the ball more this season with him and newcomer Derrick Ward, a former New York Giants running back who signed with the Bucs this offseason.

Last season, Graham rushed 132 times for 563 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games. He also played fullback when B.J. Askew and Byron Storer were injured. Graham rushed for 898 yards and 10 TDs in 2007, his first season as a full-time starter.

Graham is confident he and Ward will complement each other this season.

"We definitely are competing and helping each other," Graham said. "We want to do a lot of other things as far as being able to pound the ball and do it over a 16-game season."

Storer has setback

Storer had what the Bucs are calling "a significant setback" in his attempt to return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered in October.

Neither the Bucs nor Storer's agent would provide details, but Bucs coach Raheem Morris said the setback is such that he has no idea when Storer will return.

"I don't want to tell you exactly what it is because I don't know," Morris said of Storer's injury. "It's a major setback, and he won't be back for a significant amount of time."

Though it's early in the offseason, Storer's loss could be problematic for the Bucs .

The team was already thin at fullback, where journeyman Jameel Cook is the only notable player behind projected starter Askew.

Anwar S. Richardson, Roy Cummings

Photo: Despite an injury last year, Earnest Graham ran for 563 yards and four touchdowns for the Bucs .

Copyright ? 2009, The Tampa Tribune and may not be republished without permission. E-mail library@tampatrib.com



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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