Posts Tagged ‘AFC East’
NFL, News - Saturday, May 29, 2010 16:57 - 0 Comments
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Rookie running back C.J. Spiller will be an integral piece of a revamped Buffalo Bills backfield that could hold the key to the team’s offensive success.
Spiller, the ninth overall selection in the draft, joins incumbents Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch to give the Bills a crowded, but yet potentially spirited three-headed running back attack.
“Everybody does something differently,” Spiller said after one of the Bills’ offseason workouts this week. “The good thing is everybody is on the same team. We’ve got a lot of weapons, and the more we can use them, the more successful we can be here.”
Jackson and Lynch split starting duties last year, with Jackson eventually wrestling the No. 1 tag away from the former first-round pick Lynch late in the year after emerging as a steady and productive back. He capped his breakout season with a career-high 212-yard performance against Indianapolis in the season finale, but was dealt a blow last month when the Bills used their No. 1 pick on Spiller.
Jackson’s confusion, though, quickly turned to excitement and anticipation about the spark Spiller should provide to a Bills offense that has ranked 25th or worst in yards gained in each of the past seven seasons.
“It’s just one of those things where you have to look at it in a positive light,” Jackson said. “C.J.’s a playmaker that’s coming here to make plays, and I have to continue to build off of what I did last year.”
Last season, Buffalo finished 30th in yards gained and 28th in points scored. But those numbers could be thrown out the window with the introduction of new head coach Chan Gailey’s more aggressive approach.
“I’ve never been around a guy that’s very conscientious of what offensive plays set up other plays,” quarterback Trent Edwards said. “He’s doing a lot of motion and shifting, trying to disguise a certain play so it doesn’t look like it’s the same to the defense.”
Spiller and Jackson should provide some explosiveness both on the ground and in the air. Jackson caught 46 balls last year in addition to his 1,062 yards rushing, while Spiller finished his four-year career at Clemson with 51 touchdowns — 32 rushing.
“You look at C.J., and he’s a very dynamic back,” top receiver Lee Evans said. “He’s quick, he runs hard, and he’s fast. He brings another dimension of versatility to the offense, which never hurts.”
Lynch is more effective running over defenders. Spiller likes to run around them. Jackson isn’t afraid to do both.
That’s a mixture that could go a long way in determining the Bills’ fortunes this upcoming season.
“We all bring different things to the table, and we all bring something good to the table,” Jackson said. “If they can utilize all three of us, that’s going to make us better as a team.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
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