Though running backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson come from completely different backgrounds, they have a very similar purpose in Buffalo. If the Buffalo Bills want to make the playoffs in 2012, they must utilize both Spiller and Jackson on a consistent basis in the offense.
Spiller attended Clemson and was the prized running back in the 2010 NFL draft. Jackson attended Division III Coe College and had to play arena football to keep his NFL dream alive.
In 2012, the first-round pick and the undrafted Bills captain must join forces to create one of the league's best rushing attacks.
In 2009, Fred Jackson had 2,516 yards from scrimmage, the fourth-best season in NFL history. In the 10 games he played last season, Jackson rushed for 934 yards and had 442 receiving yards.
Last season, Jackson averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 11.2 yards per reception. He made a case for being the league's best all-around back before an injury ruined his season.
But when Jackson did go down, Spiller made the most of his opportunity and showed why Buffalo made him a top-10 draft pick.
Spiller rushed for 561 yards and had 269 receiving yards last season. Before Jackson went down, Spiller was used as a receiver and looked mediocre when given the ball on the ground. However, he came on strong late and proved he can start for the majority of NFL teams.
He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 6.9 yards per reception. His quick little cuts and explosive speed make him a special player, and Buffalo is pleased to have him.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the most successful modern coach, thinks the world of Fred Jackson. He says Jackson has "no weak points" and is a great all-around player. And Belichick isn't just saying what all professional coaches are supposed to say—he has seen Jackson's damage up close.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick believes that CJ Spiller is ready to step up and make plays as well. he claims that Spiller is a "changed man" due to the confidence he earned through stellar football last year. Spiller will get his touches in 2012 but must work hard to steal some carries from Jackson.
It is very apparent that the Bills have two very good running backs on their team. Jackson is accustomed to being in a running back tandem from when he and Marshawn Lynch complemented each other.
Jackson is a do-it-all back who has earned the right to be the starter. Spiller came on strong last year and is the future in Buffalo.
Rather than there being a running back controversy, Chan Gailey is loving every minute of Jackson and Spiller being Bills. He is thrilled to have the two backs and can't wait to see their damage this fall.
With the NFL season approaching within the next few months, the Buffalo Bills are in great shape in the backfield. Regardless of who starts, the Bills can use both backs on the field at once and will utilize both backs into the offense week in and week out. Both running backs are unselfish and want the playoffs this season.
This two-headed running back monster figures to be the best in the NFL come September.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!