2012 was an interesting year for the Buffalo Bills at the running back position. The team's best player in 2011, Fred Jackson, fell off of his torrid pace from the previous season while dealing with a slew of injuries throughout the season. C.J. Spiller, despite an alarming lack of touches as the team insisted on force-feeding both backs when healthy no matter what, emerged as one of the stars at his position - and quite frankly, that helped to get his head coach fired.
Entering the off-season, the Bills have a good amount of clarity at the position. That does not mean, however, that changes can't be made.
Spiller gained 1,703 yards from scrimmage on just 250 touches (an average of 15.6 touches for 106.4 yards per game) with eight touchdowns. He proved that he's a matchup-proof back, capable of making big plays against the league's best teams regardless of how well his own team is playing. There are obvious limitations to his game - he'll never be a great pass protector, and his size will limit his effectiveness in select spots - but there's no getting around the fact that Spiller is a star.
Now the kid just needs opportunity. The lack of opportunity last season eventually snowballed on former head coach Chan Gailey; his under-utilization of Spiller ranks a close second behind his won/loss record as the biggest pet peeve of his three-year run as coach. The new coaching staff, led by Doug Marrone, should only need one quick run-through of a few film reels before they realize that Spiller's the guy around which Nathaniel Hackett's offense should be designed. We can safely expect Spiller's workload to increase next season - probably significantly.
C.J. Spiller Gives Buffalo Bills' Roster Star Power
Buffalo Rumblings | Jan 24