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C.J. Spiller: The Buffalo Bills Are Going to Run Him Until He Pukes

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs

C.J. Spiller has been one of the most explosive players in the league, but Buffalo fans have been frustrated by how he was used. He has averaged over 5.0 yards per carry for his career, but often was underutilized in the red zone or at key times.

If new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is telling the truth, then that should not be a problem this year. In an interview on The Howard Simon Show yesterday, Hacket said that the Bills were going to ride Spiller until he loses his cookies.

“It’s real simple,” Hackett said. “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.”

If that happens, we know that foot long hot dogs will likely be involved. If this actually happens (or Spiller even gets 80% of the touches when he plays) he should approach being the best running back in football. While his yards per carry might come down from 6.0 yards per carry, keep in mind that if the team goes with rookie E.J. Manuel at quarterback, his own mobility should open lanes for Spiller.

Here’s a list of the guys who were within 300 yards from scrimmage to Spiller at age 24 and 25, and unlike the Ryan Mathews types, were emerging by having at least 60% of those yards come at age 25.

  1. Mike Pruitt 71% (676 yards at 24, 1666 at 25)
  2. Tiki Barber 67% (867 yards at 24, 1725 at 25)
  3. C.J. Spiller 67% (830 yards at 24, 1703 at 25)
  4. DeAngelo Williams 65% (892 yards at 24, 1636 at 25)
  5. Johnny Johnson 64% (837 yards at 24, 1462 at 25)
  6. Marshawn Lynch 62% (882 yards at 24, 1416 at 25)
  7. Brian Westbrook 62% (945 yards at 24, 1515 at 25)
  8. O.J. Simpson 62% (904 yards at 24, 1449 at 25)
  9. Sammy Winder 61% (907 yards at 24, 1441 at 25)
  10. Larry Brown 60% (1124 yards at 24, 1689 at 25)
  11. Delvin Williams 60% (1001 yards at 24, 1486 at 25)

Spiller’s numbers are eerily similar to Tiki Barber, a very underrated back who lost touches to Ron Dayne. At age 26, Barber  was still losing touchdowns to Dayne, who had the majority of them. It would be a couple more years before Barber would start piling up the top 5 finishes. Brian Westbrook was a similar emerging talent who had big years in his late twenties. Bills will be interested to see Simpson on here, as C.J. Spiller will be the same age as the O.J. in the 2,000 yard season.

It’s full steam for Spiller, and I know this just may be regurgitating what others have said, but if I’m on the clock after someone has taken Adrian Peterson, I think Spiller is the choice. 2013 seems like a year when everything should come together.

[photo via USA Today Sports Images]

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