News from Organized Team Activities at the Buffalo Bills' spring training came indicates that 'touches' may be less of an issue for C.J. Spiller and his backfield teammates under new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Spiller has already reeled off several long runs during the Bills' OTA sessions, although overall, the defense - which includes former Tigers Jonathan Meeks, Crezdon Butler and Kourtnei Brown - has held the upper hand.
During recent practices, the Bills have run the ball from a variety of spots on the field, including red-zone and short yardage.
“You always want to be able to run the ball. It helps everybody out on the field,” Hackett told Bills.com. “It’s a good chunk of yards, especially when you’re handing the ball to the guys that we have back there.
"It’s a very good group coached by a very good coach and it’s an exciting deal to be able to turn around and hand the ball off or from the gun or wherever it is. You really want to give those guys the ball one way or the other.”
Spiller is joined in the Bills' backfield by fellow veterans Fred Jackson and Tashard Choice, along with Zach Brown from Pittsburgh, Kendall Gaskins from Richmond and Drew Smith from Albany. The Bills' running backs are coached by Tyrone Wheatley, who coached Syracuse's running backs for the past three seasons under new Bills' head coach Doug Marrone.
On defense, both Meeks and Brown turned in eye-catching plays during recent workouts. Meeks broke up a pass from rookie quarterback EJ Manuel that was intended for tight end Chris Gragg, while Brown had a tackle for loss on a reverse run by Dorin Dickerson.
Meeks, who recently signed his rookie contract with the Bills, had 157 tackles, seven interceptions, 13 pass break-ups, four quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries in 50 games played (24 starts) at Clemson. His 192 interception return yards are fifth-most in Tigers history.