Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bills RBs coach: Options 'limitless' with C.J., Fred


With an injury to Fred Jackson early in the 2012 season, the Buffalo Bills adapted to a different type of running scheme for the electric C.J. Spiller, one that had immense success.

But when Jackson returned, then-head coach Chan Gailey struggled to find good balance between the powerful veteran and the elusive youngster.

Buffalo’s new running back coach, former pro back Tyrone Wheatley, however, said last week that the only speed bump he sees is fitting all the possibilities into one playbook. (photo: Matt Britt, Flickr)

“The options become limitless,” Wheatley said, via “The more you can do the better for you. That’s my saying and these guys can do it all. They both have distinct skill sets, but they also present a different type of threat towards defenses.”

Spiller, who saw the majority of the touches, gained more than 1,200 yards this season and led the league in yards per attempt.

His ability to make defenders miss, burst beyond the second level and gain separation in space was a big reason Buffalo’s offense was as potent as it was, and he kept the offense on the field for longer than it probably should have been on multiple occasions.

Jackson, on the other hand, was only involved in 10 games for Buffalo but still averaged nearly 4 yards a carry. He has been extremely reliable on the field for the Buffalo running game throughout his career (minus the injuries), particularly in short-yardage situations, the one area that Spiller has shown inconsistency.

Jackson has shown that he’s capable of hitting 1,000 yards in a season as well, having nearly accomplished that feat in only 10 games before breaking his leg in 2011.

Wheatley was sure to emphasize, however, that the packages he creates for the two will be designed for maximum output, not on the thoughts of individual statistics. The ultimate goal — as it should be — will be wins, not awards.

“At the end of the day we want to win,” he said. “We want the Lombardi trophy. If you’re a guy that’s happy with being a team player and a role player and you get rings instead of individual accolades then you’ll be happy with your role.”.

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