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Regardless of role, Fred Jackson wants to end career with Bills

By Tim Graham

JacksonMugFred Jackson couldn't wait to turn the page on 2012 even before changes rippled through One Bills Drive.

"I'm ready for this one to be over with and start anew and come back and get things started in a different direction," Jackson said Monday, referring specifically to his injury-plagued season. "This year has been just a complete disaster."

To not make the playoffs after the lofty preseason expectations?

"It's sickening," Jackson said. "As players, we had the highest hopes out of anybody. For us to fall short of that, we don't like it at all.

"It's depressing. You play this game because you want to win. We're all competitors and want to do better than 6-10."

One of the few thrilling developments for Buffalo will impact Jackson's future.

Running back C.J. Spiller rushed for 1,244 yards, while averaging 6 yards a carry. He had 1,703 yards from scrimmage and scored eight touchdowns.

"You just got to give C.J. credit," Jackson said. "He played amazing this year, and with the opportunity he got he made a tremendous amount of plays.

"That being said, I don't feel like I'm a slouch either. I feel like I can go out and play. I feel like I'm still capable of putting up plays and numbers if I get that opportunity."

Former coach Chan Gailey insisted on splitting carries evenly when Jackson was healthy. But Jackson, who'll turn 32 next month, missed games with two knee injuries and a concussion.

Jackson had his worst statistical season with a 3.8-yard average and four lost fumbles.

The next coach could shift the workload to Spiller next season. Spiller on Monday suggested he'd like to take a run at 2,000 yards because he wants to compete with Adrian Peterson to be known as the NFL's best running back.

Jackson was asked if he would rather go elsewhere if his role is lessened.

"This is where I started my career, and this is where I want to end my career," Jackson replied. "Even if I did leave here, who's to say where I go I won't be some third- or fourth-string back there?

"My thing is to go out and compete and make the most of the opportunities I do get. Whether that's here or somewhere else, I'm going to continue to show up and make plays and try and help my team win."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |