Fred Jackson is one of the best stories in the NFL right now: At the age of 30, the Coe College product who spent most of his early 20s just trying to get an NFL team to look at him is off to an MVP-level start, with 369 rushing yards for the first-place Buffalo Bills.
But Jackson’s start raises some questions about what the Bills have in store for C.J. Spiller, the running back they took with the ninth overall pick in last year’s NFL draft. Spiller has played well in limited opportunities, with 94 yards on 13 carries, but the Bills have made it clear that their running game revolves around Jackson.
Spiller, however, says he’s not too concerned.
“I know I can play in this league,” Spiller told the Democrat and Chronicle. “I’m not letting my confidence shoot down because I’m not getting the touches. I know what I’m capable of doing, what type of player I am. I’m not for one second thinking that I can’t play running back in the NFL, so whenever I get my opportunity I’m going to take advantage of it.”
So is that opportunity going to come in Buffalo? Bills coach Chan Gailey says that right now, there just isn’t much room in his offense for Spiller.
“There’s only one football and when you’ve got some good receivers, a tight end who has done some good things, a running back that is playing well right now, you can’t do everything you’d like to do,” Gailey said. “We’ve got some ideas and some thoughts, it just hasn’t presented itself at this time the way we’d like to do it. Unfortunately right now he’s the odd man out. It may not be that way the whole season, but right now it is. I still think he’s going to be a very good player for us over the long haul.”
Spiller is only 24, so there’s still plenty of time for him to have a big role in the Bills’ offense. But not as long as Jackson plays the way he’s playing right now.