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CJ Spiller is an Outstanding Football Player


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#1 Rob's House

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:42 AM

I've noticed CJ has become something of a whipping boy of late. The more I watch the more I disagree with his detractors. That's not to say he doesn't have his shortcomings or that he hasn't missed some holes, but what he does well he does better than anyone the the NFL. He runs the plays that are called and often the play is dead before he even touches the ball. On a lot of his plays there is an unblocked defender in the backfield preventing any cutbacks and the blocking in front of him breaks down leaving him nowhere to run. But when he gets a little crease he cuts and weaves and turns nothing into something like no one since Barry Sanders.

Despite sub-par blocking, nagging injuries, and having a lot of impressive runs called back this year, he's still put up respectable yardage and is averaging 4.6 ypc, which may not be earth shattering, but it's not too shabby either. The man deserves more respect than he gets from the fans IMO.

#2 reddogblitz

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:46 AM

I don't get the Spiller piling on either. He's had a hurt foot all year but is still playing AND producing. Get off his back.  He's one of our good guys.

#3 Mark Vader

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:55 AM

I think Spiller has been used poorly this year. Those read option plays have been disastrous, and yet we still run them.

Did everyone notice yesterday that on that one time when we ran the read option and Manuel kept the ball, the entire Jaguars defense was fooled?

I sure as hell was fooled too. It looked like Manuel could have gotten a lot more yardage on that play.

#4 Marauder'sMicro

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:18 AM

I am very happy to have Spiller on the team.

He is a great asset. He is not one of the problems. I think the team needs to fill the holes around players like Spiller and Steve Johnson, not just throw out players that have some really nice attributes.

#5 John from Hemet

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:32 AM

View PostRob, on 17 December 2013 - 01:42 AM, said:

I've noticed CJ has become something of a whipping boy of late. The more I watch the more I disagree with his detractors. That's not to say he doesn't have his shortcomings or that he hasn't missed some holes, but what he does well he does better than anyone the the NFL. He runs the plays that are called and often the play is dead before he even touches the ball. On a lot of his plays there is an unblocked defender in the backfield preventing any cutbacks and the blocking in front of him breaks down leaving him nowhere to run. But when he gets a little crease he cuts and weaves and turns nothing into something like no one since Barry Sanders.

Despite sub-par blocking, nagging injuries, and having a lot of impressive runs called back this year, he's still put up respectable yardage and is averaging 4.6 ypc, which may not be earth shattering, but it's not too shabby either. The man deserves more respect than he gets from the fans IMO.

He is absolutely a fantastic football player

My problem is not with him....its the way he is used.  I HATE the way Hackett uses him and doesnt allow him to get into space where he is lethal.....these 1st down runs up the middle are KILLING CJ's career right now

#6 FeartheLosing

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:37 AM

View PostMark Vader, on 17 December 2013 - 01:55 AM, said:

I think Spiller has been used poorly this year. Those read option plays have been disastrous, and yet we still run them.

Did everyone notice yesterday that on that one time when we ran the read option and Manuel kept the ball, the entire Jaguars defense was fooled?

I sure as hell was fooled too. It looked like Manuel could have gotten a lot more yardage on that play.
Spiller has been dealing with the dreaded 'high ankle" sprain since week 4, which takes forever to heal, and is very difficult to play with.

What made CJ so great last season was running from the 4 WR shotgun spread offense. This year Hackett has CJ running mostly up the middle from shotgun formation with a single back set, or 2 WR, single TE pro set.

Huge difference between running in those sets, as the spread makes the defense cover a WR with a LBer, which is crazy good to throw against. Or the defense takes a LBer out to cover the extra WR which allows the RB to be covered by a DB. Either way the offense usually creates a miss match and usually wins. Plus, the spread offense makes it more difficult to stack the box to stop the run because if the LoS is spread out across the field, its one missed tackle and off to the races.

Then you need to consider the difference in the players on that O line. The Bills let Levitre & his backup Rinehart walk and replaced them with scrubs that they ended up cutting outright after week five. CJ will always be CJ, meaning he will try and bounce it outside to make a big play rather then 2 yards up the middle.

CJ Spiller is a special back, and his forte is not running up the middle as a power back.

#7 JPS

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:59 AM

My only problem with CJ is that I know after a 6+ yard run, he's coming out the next play.  It's 50-50 whether he's showing signs of being injured.  I would love it if he would sack up, man up and get pissed off for being removed.

That being said, I think the O-line is one of the worst O-lines in recent memory.  From game to game, quarter to quarter, they're like a box of chocolates.

#8 Dragonborn10

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:02 AM

CJ is a special athlete.  I don't think he is a good NFL running back.  He doesn't run good pass routes.  He is awful in pass protection.  He doesn't see the holes and cut back.  He doesn't even break that many tackles.  But if he gets the right crease he can be gone.  
He only has 2833 yards for his career but a 5.2 ypc average.  2833 after four years for a first round RB is almost bust status.  5.2 ypc over 4 years is almost legendary.
So frustrating.  The coaches must see his speed and know what he can do but yet FJ gets the carries and is on the field when it matters.  Gailey and now Marrone didn't have him on the field in crucial situations.  
Something just isn't right about him.  It will come out sooner or later.  I still say he has asthma.  Maybe when he leaves in FA and runs for 2000 yards behind San Francisco's o-line I will look like a moron along with Gailey et al...

FYI Marshawn Lynch in 3yrs 2601 yards on 650 carries for 4 ypc...

#9 FeartheLosing

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:30 AM

View PostDragonborn10, on 17 December 2013 - 05:02 AM, said:

CJ is a special athlete.  I don't think he is a good NFL running back.  He doesn't run good pass routes.  He is awful in pass protection.  He doesn't see the holes and cut back.  He doesn't even break that many tackles.  But if he gets the right crease he can be gone.  
He only has 2833 yards for his career but a 5.2 ypc average.  2833 after four years for a first round RB is almost bust status.  5.2 ypc over 4 years is almost legendary.
So frustrating.  The coaches must see his speed and know what he can do but yet FJ gets the carries and is on the field when it matters.  Gailey and now Marrone didn't have him on the field in crucial situations.  
Something just isn't right about him.  It will come out sooner or later.  I still say he has asthma.  Maybe when he leaves in FA and runs for 2000 yards behind San Francisco's o-line I will look like a moron along with Gailey et al...

FYI Marshawn Lynch in 3yrs 2601 yards on 650 carries for 4 ypc...
6.0 yards per carry is very special and unique for any RB. Spiller hit that mark in 2012 with 1244 yards

Only one other RB hit 6.0 in 2012, and that was Adrian Peterson, no RB in 2013, no RB in 2011. Jamaal Charles 6.4 in 2010, no RB 09, 08, Jerious Norwood in 07 with only 103 carries tho, 613 yards. no RB 06, no RB 05, no RB 04, no RB 03, no RB 02.


I happen to think that most of the offensive coaches for the Bills over the last 14 years have been just as bad as the O line has been. No other O linemen besides Ruben Brown 1996-2003, and Jason Peters 2007-2008 have made the pro bowl. Marv levy thought enough of the guard position to draft Ruben Brown in the 1st round (14th overall) in 1995. The Bills find and develop great talent in Peters and then let him leave.

Mike Mularkey wanted Drew Bledsoe to change his style of play rather then build a better O line. Mularkey told Willis McGahee he wasn't hitting the crease quickly enough so the Bills traded him away, and that was at the end of 2006. McGahee made the pro bowl with both the Ravens and Broncos, and he is still in the league today with Cleveland.

Both Jauron & Gailey told Marshawn Lynch he wasn't hitting the hole quickly enough so that among other reasons he was traded to Seattle. Three years with the Seahawks and 1000+ yards every year, 10+ TD's every year for 3 years.

Nathaniel Hackett hasn't shown that he really knows how to utilize Spiller to his utmost ability. Along with some really bad players on that O line that aren't helping the situation.

#10 Just in Atlanta

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:39 AM

I agree. Bad offensive scheme, and poor blocking. Hackett, not CJ, is the problem. I hope they find a way to get this racehorse into space next year during his prime. Otherwise, yet another primo player wasted on this waste of a team.

Edited by Just in Atlanta, 17 December 2013 - 06:40 AM.


#11 simpleman

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:48 AM

View PostJust in Atlanta, on 17 December 2013 - 06:39 AM, said:

I agree. Bad offensive scheme, and poor blocking. Hackett, not CJ, is the problem. I hope they find a way to get this racehorse into space next year during his prime. Otherwise, yet another primo player wasted on this waste of a team.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

#12 xsoldier54

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:51 AM

Spiller is a tremendous football player and athlete.  I disagree however that he runs the plays that are called.  More often than not, he runs sideways instead of north and south.   And please don't tell me that is because the hole is not there. It is by choice.   He does not like to run the ball between the tackles, period.   Now having said that, I applaud his playing through the high ankle sprain this year and maybe that is the reason he tries to bounce everything outside.  Can't say that I am pleased with his production this year, but the injury probably has a lot to do with it.

#13 Boludo

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:56 AM

Spiller is alright.

But let me give you some names:

Lesean McCoy
Adrian Peterson
Matt Forte
Jamaal Charles

These guys are the cream of the crop right now, and Spiller can not be included in the same discussion of the top backs in the league. These guys can do it all, whereas Spiller is a bit more limited in his scope.

#14 Mr. WEO

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:09 AM

View PostBoludo, on 17 December 2013 - 06:56 AM, said:

Spiller is alright.

But let me give you some names:

Lesean McCoy
Adrian Peterson

Matt Forte
Jamaal Charles

These guys are the cream of the crop right now, and Spiller can not be included in the same discussion of the top backs in the league. These guys can do it all, whereas Spiller is a bit more limited in his scope.

I agree CJ has talent and speed, but anyone who has seen McCoy play would not confuse him with CJ Spiller--ditto AP.

McCoy has a whopping 62 1st downs on 269 carries--that's a first down roughly every 4 carries.  Same for AP.  Spiller has just 20 1st downs on 162 carries for 1 in 8.  His stat line is filled with gians of negative, 1 or 2 yards with occasional spikes of long runs.  Freddie is far more productive in terms of 1st downs (not even close), TDs and 0 fumbles.  He's our best back hands down at this point in the season.

#15 Dorkington

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:16 AM

I think he's been fine when put in a position to succeed. He's just not going to be your 30 carry, pound the ball up the middle sort of guy.

Give him some limited carries, maybe even line him up in the slot sometimes, and boom, success.

#16 FeartheLosing

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:43 AM

View PostBoludo, on 17 December 2013 - 06:56 AM, said:

Spiller is alright.

But let me give you some names:

Lesean McCoy
Adrian Peterson
Matt Forte
Jamaal Charles

These guys are the cream of the crop right now, and Spiller can not be included in the same discussion of the top backs in the league. These guys can do it all, whereas Spiller is a bit more limited in his scope.
Oh I dunno, I think if you gave Spiller to Andy Reid that he would find a way to get him the ball in space, and make him a top RB again, just like he was in 2012. Perhaps with better coaching he becomes an even better player.

Funny thing, I can recall how so many here thought Gailey under utilized CJ in so many games in 2012. Throughout the years I've always heard how difficult it is for a RB to get into rhythm in a game until they hit at least 20 carries

14,15, 4, 8, 7, 12, 12, 6, 9, 22, 14, 14,  7, 17, 22, 24.  With 207 carries total, and averaging 77.8 yards per game. Those are the carries for each game in 2012 vs Adrian Peterson with 348 attempts @ 6.0 is even more astonishing. But then consider Peterson was the entire focal point of the offense each and every game averaging 131 yards a game.

The Buffalo Bills haven't had a punishing rushing attack since the days of Thurman Thomas IMO. The Bills hunt & peck running attacks haven't won them many games the last 14 years.

#17 BuffaloBillsForever

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:27 AM

View PostRob, on 17 December 2013 - 01:42 AM, said:

I've noticed CJ has become something of a whipping boy of late. The more I watch the more I disagree with his detractors. That's not to say he doesn't have his shortcomings or that he hasn't missed some holes, but what he does well he does better than anyone the the NFL. He runs the plays that are called and often the play is dead before he even touches the ball. On a lot of his plays there is an unblocked defender in the backfield preventing any cutbacks and the blocking in front of him breaks down leaving him nowhere to run. But when he gets a little crease he cuts and weaves and turns nothing into something like no one since Barry Sanders.

Despite sub-par blocking, nagging injuries, and having a lot of impressive runs called back this year, he's still put up respectable yardage and is averaging 4.6 ypc, which may not be earth shattering, but it's not too shabby either. The man deserves more respect than he gets from the fans IMO.

CJ Spiller is the most talented player on the Bills IMO. He has been impressive despite how incompetent our offensive coaches are at utulizing this guy and don't optimize his strenghts in their scheme. The problem is the coaches. Also keep in context he has been dealing with a very bad ankle sprain all year long. It is the worst injury for a running back (any athlete really) because they just don't heal and as you see that ankle gets tweaked every single week he plays. You are better off breaking the ankle.

Spillers ankle injury won't heal until the offseason. That ankle needs months of rest and healing.

Edited by BuffaloBillsForever, 17 December 2013 - 08:28 AM.


#18 BillsVet

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:33 AM

Two separate coaching staffs have been blamed for not knowing how to use Spiller.  It would seem that it's not the coaches, but rather the player after nearly 4 complete seasons in the NFL.  I truly don't believe Spiller understands the pro game as much as he should in his fourth season.

When you spend the 9th overall pick on a RB, it had been be a dynamic player.  Spiller is not dynamic, but of course there's always another reason why he's not succeeding.

#19 Ryan L Billz

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:41 AM

Spillers a beast.     Upgrade the OL

#20 Gugny

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:43 AM

I loved the CJ pick when it happened and I still think it was a great pick (and I am normally dead-set against picking a RB in the first two rounds).

I agree that he's been improperly used in this year's offense, to an extent.

My beef with Spiller has been, and is, that he seems to lack endurance.  He gets caught from behind on long runs and he always needs a 2-3 down break any time he runs the ball more than 10 yards.  I don't think his need for frequent rests has played any kind of significant role in any loss ... but I still think it's a liability.

Either way, he is a play-maker, he is a talented RB and I'm glad he's a Bill.