C.J.'s better idea: Spiller thriving in backfield tandem of his own design

The Clemson Sports Blog

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

C.J. Spiller knows there's only one football.

He'd like more touches, and so would teammate Fred Jackson.

Both of Buffalo's running backs are committed to sharing, and they've created a rotation system that maximizes their potential to get into a flow and impact the game. And they're causing a double-barreled headache for defenders.

When Jackson returned from his knee injury, coach Chan Gailey began playing the two running backs on alternate series.

Spiller had a better idea.

“The first game that Fred came back, we tried to do a one series rotation,” Spiller told CBSSports.com. "Me and Fred both thought that was tough. The good thing about our coaching staff, our running backs coach leaves that up to us.

"I went to Fred and I told him, ‘Let's just do two series.' It's kind of hard when you're out there for one series, you get into a flow and then you come out. We thought it'd be best if we do two series, so that's what we've done these last two games.

"We'll continue to do that. If they want us in certain plays, the coaching staff will do that. But as far as me and Fred are concerned, we think 2-3 series each is better because it kind of keeps everybody fresh.”

“They both bring something very unique and they're both really good players,” Gailey said. “I like to say and I'm going to keep saying this, that we've got two starters there. Who starts may be more of a package than it is who runs out there the first play.

"I'm not going to get caught up in who's the starter, who's the backup, y'all get caught up in that. I don't get caught up in that. We got two good players and we've got to play them both to give ourselves the best chance to win.”

In Buffalo's victory over Arizona last week, Spiller and Jackson combined for 37 touches, rushing and receiving, for 193 yards.

The tandem was even more productive on Sunday in the Bills' last-second 35-34 loss to Tennessee. Spiller rushed for 70 yards on 12 carries, and caught six passes for 32 yards. Jackson carried nine times for 71 yards and had eight receptions for 49 yards. Together, they totaled 35 touches for 222 yards.

Also in NFL games last weekend:

Jamie Harper scored touchdowns on a pair of one-yard runs in the Titans' victory over the Bills. Coty Sensabaugh had one tackle for Tennessee, while offensive tackle Chris Hairston had a tackle for Buffalo.

Leroy Hill made nine stops, including seven solo tackles, in Seattle's 13-6 loss to San Francisco.

Jarvis Jenkins had three tackles, including one solo, in Washington's 27-23 loss to the New York Giants.

Dwayne Allen caught one pass for nine yards in the Indianapolis Colts' 17-13 win over Cleveland. Kavell Conner had four tackles, including three solos, for the Colts.

Nick Eason had a quarterback sack for Arizona in the Cardinals 21-14 loss to Minnesota.

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