Back when Todd Haley was coaching the Chiefs, it never made sense why he insisted on giving so many carries to Thomas Jones when it was apparent to everyone else Jamaal Charles was the superior option. It was like a weird, stubborn game in which he wanted to limit the effectiveness of his offense.
And that seemed to be the case with C.J. Spiller in Buffalo, too. The Bills seemed to draft him with the ninth pick in 2010 for the purpose of having him watch Fred Jackson. Spiller averaged 5.2 yards per carry in 2011, but the Bills refused to give him the ball until Jackson was hurt late in the season. Spiller had 21 carries in 10 games before Jackson got hurt and the Bills were literally forced to use him.
Those days are over. Now that the Bills saw Spiller go for 1,244 yards on just 207 carries last year, the new coaching staff is ready to see what he can do with a full load. Just bring your Dramamine, C.J.
"It's real simple," Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett told WGR, via the Buffalo News. "We're going to give him the ball until he throws up. So he's either got to tap out or throw up on the field. Let's just put it that way."
Get your most talented player the ball as often as possible. Imagine that.
Last season, the Bills finished 6-10 and Chan Gailey got fired. Spiller averaged 6 yards per carry (among backs with 200 carries, only Adrian Peterson also averaged 6 yards per carry; Charles was third with 5.3) but got less than 10 carries six times, and the Bills went 1-5 in those games. Sometimes that was due to injury. But the Bills were 3-6 by Nov. 15, which happened to be the first time Spiller got more than 15 carries in a game.
What might Spiller do with so many carries, assuming the whole vomiting thing doesn't slow him down too much? You can't just project 6 yards per carry onto a bigger workload. It is true that in his career Spiller averages just 2.64 yards from carry 16-25 in a game, but we're dealing with a small sample size of 25 carries over three years. He's not the biggest back, but I'm not writing off the possibility of him being effective beyond 15 carries. A 1,500-yard season, assuming he stays healthy, can't be ruled out.
At least we'll see what Spiller can do in that situation. The old coaching staff decided it would rather get fired than find out.
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