clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How Big A Role?

New, 5 comments
The Ray Graham piece in the PG on Friday got me thinking: Just how big a role will he have this year? This has me at least a little encouraged that he'll be around for the long haul:
Coach Dave Wannstedt called Graham "the star of spring practice," saying he has improved. "Ray Graham's probably had as many exciting plays as anybody out there. He's really come on."

Some in Graham's position might have transferred to see more playing time. But he said he is committed to Pitt, what he called a "program on the rise."
Graham's in a tricky spot, no doubt. He could very well start for many college programs, even good ones. But here he is, in the same class as Dion Lewis, and as long as Dion is here, has little chance of surpassing him on the depth chart.

Meanwhile, Pitt had a scimmage today and it sounds like Dion Lewis had a great day:
Dion Lewis carried nine times for 64 yards, and Chris Burns netted 35 yards on 11 carries. Jason Douglas and Ray Graham combined for 53 more rushing yards on 24 carries, Graham with 22 on 11 and Douglas with 31 on 13, while Mike Shanahan and Jon Baldwin each had touchdown catches.
I think Graham will stick around, banking on the fact that he can still have a successful career in the mold of someone like Larod Stephens-Howling. I think he'll be able to play the same kind of role, and maybe bank on the fact that Lewis will leave early (which is an entirely different issue as there's some kind of stipulation where he could possibly leave after this year - another discussion for another time). It should be somewhat comforting to him that he can look at someone like LSH and see him playing in the pros, despite backing up Shady for the better part of his last two seasons.

I would expect Graham to play about the same type of role this year that he did last season. He will likely come in for a series at some point in the game and maybe get a handful of additional carries. His big-play ability has to earn him at least some playing time. The only question is, how much?