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Spiller struggling to show he’s ready to start

C.J. Spiller, Von Miller, Cassius Vaughn, D.J. Williams AP

C.J. Spiller entered this training camp ready to put his sluggish rookie season behind him.

The Bills apparently have liked what they’ve seen. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News made this surprising statement before Saturday’s preseason game:

“Hearing more and more Bills top RB job is C.J. Spiller’s to lose, not Fred Jackson’s,” Graham wrote.

That notion was supported on Saturday night, when Spiller started over Jackson, Buffalo’s most versatile and unappreciated offensive player for years.  Jackson has 2,575 yards from scrimmage the last two seasons.

It’s clear the Bills have high hopes for Spiller, but he hasn’t shown the consistency in games yet. Spiller ran six times for 10 yards on Saturday night against Denver.  He caught two passes for 11 yards.

“I thought C.J. did a couple of nice things there,” said coach Chan Gailey. “He hit some runs, hit some creases. He ran up in there. He held onto the ball. . . . We wanted to look at him tonight to see where he’s made progress and I thought he did make progress. That was a positive.”

This is how BuffaloBills.com worded it:

“Spiller’s first three carries went for 19 yards. He also had a couple of receptions for 11 yards.”

They completely decided to omit the glaring fact Spiller’s next three carries went for -9 yards.  Fred Jackson, who avoids negative plays, rushed four times for 34 yards. Spiller has 13 yards on eight preseason carries.

We understand the Bills want Spiller to be a huge factor. Perhaps he will be.

He still has a long way to go to prove he’s a better player than Fred Jackson.

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28 Responses to “Spiller struggling to show he’s ready to start”
  1. FinFan68 says: Aug 21, 2011 12:35 PM

    Use him like the saints used reggie bush.

  2. jiggerdave says: Aug 21, 2011 12:38 PM

    Sad to say this guy will not make it, poor vision and fails to burst through open gaps.

  3. eagleswin says: Aug 21, 2011 12:45 PM

    Fred Jackson has been their best back by far the last couple of years. The problem is he isn’t the one they want to be the featured back. He never has been and nothing he does is ever good enough.

  4. jetropolitans says: Aug 21, 2011 12:53 PM

    Its not his fault…poor kid got drafted by Buffalo.

  5. ezmoover says: Aug 21, 2011 12:55 PM

    Sometimes… all the lame, BS spin doctoring in the world cannot hide the fact that a bust is a BUST.

  6. jhart615 says: Aug 21, 2011 12:55 PM

    nobody to blame except bills management…this was nothing but a luxury pick. When your defense is completely awful and you already have fred jackson and marshawn lynch that year, why pick spiller?

  7. kingsam8 says: Aug 21, 2011 12:56 PM

    Spiller > Jackson

    lets be real

  8. swpstks says: Aug 21, 2011 1:03 PM

    In the NFL you are only able to make 1 cut and then hit the hole. Spiller continues to make or attempt to make multiple cuts before he hits the hole. This isnt the ACC anymore its the NFL

  9. EJ says: Aug 21, 2011 1:06 PM

    GD right CJ Spiller has a long way to go before TRYING to be better than Freddy Jackson.

    Right now CJ couldn’t hold Freddys jockstrap. He may never be as good as Mr Jackson. I think Gailey/Nix need to take that advice and at least keep it in the back of their head. Just incase the future doesn’t bode well for CJ.

  10. d3murf says: Aug 21, 2011 1:13 PM

    @kingsam8 said:

    Spiller > Jackson….lets be real

    Please tell me how you have arrived to that conclusion? Is it because you watched Spiller beat up on the University of Virginia? Or when he dominated NC State? I’m a Spiller fan as well–but saying he’s greater than someone I’ve SEEN do it pretty well at the professional level is pretty asinine. Let these young guys prove they can make it b4 breaking out the anointing oil. You’re the reason for a rookie wage scale! lol

  11. batyuki says: Aug 21, 2011 1:23 PM

    If the back runs for -9 yards on 3 carries, blame the O-Line, not the back

  12. willjasper says: Aug 21, 2011 1:32 PM

    Wasted 1st round pick. Depth at RB was not a problem when Spiller was selected.

  13. rajbais says: Aug 21, 2011 1:37 PM

    C.J. Spiller might be the most blatant bust ever!!!

    Conventional wisdom points to Ryan Leaf, Tony Mandarich, and Jamarcus Russell as the biggest busts ever; this guy should be up there until further notice.

    He looked the part, could play the part (based on his NCAA film), and had no red flags that would hinder his chances of succeeding!!! Plus, he plays a relatively easy position to succeed in, running back. To not do well with respect to these attributes make him look like a bust!!!

  14. jaystop says: Aug 21, 2011 1:44 PM

    Blaming his poor performance on the fact that he plays for Buffalo is absurd. Jackson seems to be making the most of the situation. Not sure if Spiller really fits the mold of NFL workhorse. Reminds me of Jahvid Best with Detroit. His skill set doesn’t seem to translate to prolonged success, at least not without injuries along the way.

  15. doe22us says: Aug 21, 2011 1:46 PM

    Sometimes those that went undraffted have a burning desire to succeed. Not to say that Spiller wont amount to anything, but the numbers just dont lie. I drafted Fred Jackson with confidence (10th Rd)

  16. steelcity09 says: Aug 21, 2011 2:06 PM

    CJ SPiller has been misused so far.

    He needs the ball in space! You cant run him between the tackles all the time. Run some sweeps, pitches, screens, etc………..my goodness!

    Spiller should be catching 70+ balls a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Fred Jackson is a solid RB, but he isnt the future………use him in short yardage, at the goal, and to spell CJ a few series in the game. Give Freddy 10-12 carries a game.

    BUT GET CJ IN SPACE!!!!! HOW HARD IS IT?

  17. turk2875 says: Aug 21, 2011 2:18 PM

    The play were he lost like 8 yards is because he and Fitspatrick ran into each other on a blown play, you really can’t fault him there. Having said that, he reminds me alot of Reggie Bush more and more.

  18. murraysons says: Aug 21, 2011 2:18 PM

    Laurence Maroney, anyone?

  19. polishkingski says: Aug 21, 2011 2:31 PM

    i would have forced marshawn to stay in buffalo. i mean t.s, whats he going to do, not play? he was good the second he stepped on the field as a rookie. nix and gailey got too cute with the spiller pick. they could have had a terrific tandam backfield and a high round defender. what a fxxking shame.

  20. njdevil7 says: Aug 21, 2011 3:12 PM

    Im pretty sure Tim Graham writes for ESPN, not the Buffalo News.

  21. norton20 says: Aug 21, 2011 3:28 PM

    The next in a lengthening line of #1 busts for the Bills. He runs into the QB on a running play, picks up the wrong blitzer leaving his QB to be killed, doesn’t wait for blocks to set up on screen passes, gives up ground rather than run to the 1st down markers trying to make big plays.

    The Bills can try to move Fred Jackson out if they want, but the man is a pro’s pro and knows how to play the game. Spiller has a longgggg way to go to be even mildly competent.

  22. qdog112 says: Aug 21, 2011 3:43 PM

    turk2875 says: Aug 21, 2011 2:18 PM

    The play were he lost like 8 yards is because he and Fitspatrick ran into each other on a blown play, you really can’t fault him there. Having said that, he reminds me alot of Reggie Bush more and more.
    ——————————————————
    Good eye. I agree. He is Reggie Bush, but without Brees and that spells trouble. I followed him throughout college and he is dynamic when used correctly. He’s also had some injuries. I don’t think many appreciate how hard it is to consistently get a player in space. That’s why a player like Chis Johnson is so valuable – he creates his own space. I drafted Spiller last year and picked up Freddy this year. With my luck, Spiller makes the pro bowl.

  23. richc111 says: Aug 21, 2011 3:55 PM

    Of course it is CJ job to lose. Year 2 is when the pressure starts to build. The Gailey/Nix show needs to start to show they know what they are doing, which means not missing on a 1st round pick, which means they play him even if he is not the better option. Big Bills fan here but we are in year 2 of the same old 4-5 year process known as rebuilding. Next year they pressure builds and then in 2-3 years the plug is pulled and we start all over again with a new group of retreads that for some reason think they are smarter than all the other guys in the league that really are smarter then them.

  24. peanutbutter&jelly says: Aug 21, 2011 4:23 PM

    i remember when the bills picked him i was shocked not because i didn’t think spiller wasnt’ good it was because they had to many holes to fill. if it were my call i would have traded down and got another pick or 2 and went after a rb in f/a but thats just me

  25. jagerbolt says: Aug 21, 2011 4:36 PM

    I remember when Buddy Nix left for the Bills, a lot of Charger fans said we were doomed because they thought he was the real brains behind the scouting/drafting.

    Glad to see that is not the case. Have not been impressed by Nix as a GM at all. Didn’t he say he slept in the day that free agency began? Yikes.

  26. someguyiniowa says: Aug 21, 2011 5:29 PM

    njdevil7 says:
    Aug 21, 2011 3:12 PM
    Im pretty sure Tim Graham writes for ESPN, not the Buffalo News.

    He used to write for ESPN, but not anymore

  27. bigblueblitz says: Aug 21, 2011 6:04 PM

    this reminds me a lot of what happened to a flourishing Travis Henry once they drafted McGahee in the first round.

  28. billyhoyle4real says: Aug 22, 2011 9:48 AM

    Only a matter of time before the hoodie steals him off our roster and turns him into a pro bowler. Too bad Fred, another case of nice guys finish last.

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