Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Back Earnest Graham Earns Banner Honors

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJune 11, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 14: Running back Earnest Graham #34 of  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on September 14, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

For most of his career, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham has been an underdog in the NFL.

He was largely overlooked until one day, former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden took advice from his father, who told him he ought to give the running back a serious shot. Now, Graham is a face of the franchise, literally.

The Buccaneers have now installed all eight of the player banners on the exterior of Raymond James Stadium. The last two guys went up Thursday—Graham and Kellen Winslow Jr.

The other players include defensive end Gaines Adams, guard Davin Joseph, cornerbacks Rhonde Barber and Aqib Talib, receiver Antonio Bryant, and linebacker Barrett Ruud.

It's a well deserved honor for Graham since he's proven himself on the field the last couple of seasons.

Of the eight players, only Winslow Jr. is a newcomer.

Once again, the Bucs are expecting big things from Graham this season.

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One would also take from the banner display that Barber and Talib will be the starting corners in September.

One obvious thing about the group of "banner boys" is that there is no quarterback among them.

It's an obvious statement that this team simply has no idea who will earn the starting quarterback position.

And that comes as no surprise.