Named Buffalo Bills' 'most improved' player, C.J. Spiller hoping for featured duo role next year with Fred Jackson

'We know we have a good 1-2 punch – possibly the best 1-2 punch in the NFL – if we’re both used'

Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller (28) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller (28) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

The Buffalo Bills have named C.J. Spiller as the team’s ‘most improved’ player of 2011, while noting that “the tandem of (Fred) Jackson and Spiller present tantalizing options for 2012.”

Spiller hopes so.

In a video interview posted on the Bills’ website earlier this week, Spiller talked about his hopes for next season and said that he and Jackson have the potential to make up the best 1-2 backfield punch in the NFL in 2012.

And he clearly indicated that he won’t be happy if he goes back to the sidelines when Jackson – who missed the final six games of this season with a broken leg – returns to form.

About his confidence level as he wanted his turn, Spiller said “my confidence has never been low, even when Fred was having a great season.”

“I just wasn’t getting the opportunities because of what he was doing,” Spiller said. “But I just stayed the course and stayed believing that my time was going to come sooner or later, and it did. I was able to take advantage of it.

“Hopefully, the coaches knew all along what I was capable of doing. It was just a matter of having another guy who was playing at a Pro Bowl level.

“I hope they didn’t lose confidence in me while I wasn’t playing. They drafted me here to be able to help this offense out.”

He said he hopes that the coaches will figure out a way to use both he and Jackson in prominent roles next season.

“That’s up to Coach (Chan) Gailey or whoever makes those decisions,” Spiller said. “I just come in and work hard and go out there when my number’s called. We know we have a good 1-2 punch – possibly the best 1-2 punch in the NFL – if we’re both used.”

Spiller was then asked if he’d be satisfied to go back to the role he had at the beginning of this season.

His reply:

“What? Sitting on the sidelines? Tch…if that’s what they want me to do then that’s what I have to do. But that’s like having a diamond – a diamond in the rough – on the sidelines.”

Spiller said that in time, he’ll reflect back on his accomplishments this season, in which he averaged almost as many yards per carry as Jackson (5.2 to 5.5) and matched the NFL rushing leader in touchdowns with six. But he said he’s more concerned about continuing to improve as a player.

“I’ll look back and see what I did good, and, of course, see what I can improve on – especially catching the ball when Fitz (quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick) is on the move,” said Spiller. “I had two crucial drops this year – one (in the Bills’ final game against the New England Patriots) with the pick, and then one in the back of the end zone.

“So there are a lot of things I’ll look on, and see what I did good and the things that I didn’t.”

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Comments » 3

Superman12975 writes:

Diamond in the rough?!

@Spiller: Stop talking and start doing. You are a first round pick. You were expected to produce the first year! A 5th round pick is a diamond in the rough. Learn how to run between the tackles. How many yards from scrimmage did you have? Just because you caught some passes and had a couple good games against some bad defenses doesn't mean you have the right to say you earned your spot. Jackson, an undrafted player from a community college, beat you out when you were handed a job. Sorry Spiller but you're a poor man's Reggie Bush, a reach at your pick, and am looking forward to you riding the bench.

columbiabill writes:

Seems like Superman12975 got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

89cutiger writes:

Superman12975 needs to visit some other website. Support our players or get the heck off the site. You have to plug Spiller into the correct offense. He cannot help the lack of touches he has gotten or the manner in which he is used. Put Spiller on a team that has a O-line and you will see him excel.

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