Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spiller's work silver lining in Bills' loss of Jackson

By Nick St. Denis

The loss of Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson was certainly devastating, but the increased workload for second-year back C.J. Spiller is the silver lining.

Spiller has taken over as the team's primary back the past two games after Jackson went down three weeks ago against the Miami Dolphins.

Spiller picked up just 55 rushing yards on 19 carries against the New York Jets two weeks ago but had a big game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, amassing 83 yards on 14 carries, including a 35-yard touchdown run.

"I think you could tell at the end of the Jets game he was starting to feel a little more comfortable," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told the media Monday. "He had some runs that were close to going, at least getting some big chunks. He did that this last game. Unfortunately the one got called back for the holding.

"In the second half, being down and the way that it went, not being able to get him as many touches as we would have liked. He did some really good things (against the Titans). He’s obviously an explosive guy. He showed that to everybody this last game."

Spiller has 21 catches on the year, as he spent some time split out because of Buffalo's depleted wide receiver corps. With a strong finish to the season, he could earn more carries for next year in splitting time with Jackson.

For now, Spiller's focus is on letting things come natural.

"In my first start last year, I was doing a lot of thinking in the game and I really wouldn’t let my ability take over," he told the media Sunday after Buffalo's loss to Tennessee. "I was concerned about, 'should I go inside? Should I go outside?' But now, I’m just going out there and playing football, just playing the way I always played."

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