Daily Musings: Predicting Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller's 2012 Role

Eli Nachmany@EliNachmanyCorrespondent IIIApril 4, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 24:  C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills runs against the Denver Broncos at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Spiller had his first 100 yard rushing game in the NFL. Buffalo won 40-14.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

After 2011 established that the Bills have two very solid running threats in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, it's unclear who will end up taking the lion's share of the carries in 2012.

Jackson is a top-tier running back who can explode at any time, but he's coming off of a key injury and it's not completely certain that he'll return to form this season.

Enter C.J. Spiller, the Bills' 2010 first-round draft pick and speedy backup running back who produced well at the end of the year.

It's easy to say that, at least going into the season, Fred Jackson will be the unquestioned starter at the tailback position. The Bills will enter 2012 with a very solid backfield, consisting of the aforementioned Jackson and Spiller as well as solid timeshare backs like Johnny White and Tashard Choice.

With more than one productive back on the roster, head coach Chan Gailey has a problem that many coaches would love to have.

Unless the Patriots' sophomore rushers have breakout seasons in 2012 or, for the Dolphins, Reggie Bush outperforms his 2011 numbers, the Bills will have the best backfield in the AFC East this season.

There's no way around the fact that Chan Gailey needs to get C.J. Spiller enough carries as to where the Clemson standout can be productive this year.

Spiller has blazing speed and could be a real factor for the team in 2012. The running back is a solid pass catcher and can make plays to the outside.

Fred Jackson is a great runner between the tackles while Spiller can bust the play to the outside and get to the second level.

The Bills should have a lot of success running the ball in 2012. It remains to be seen how many touches Spiller gets.

I project he will carry the ball 7-10 times a game, enough to make an impact and gain around 40-50 yards.