By Tim Graham
The new boss is not the same as the old boss when it comes to deploying his running backs.
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone indicated after today's voluntary workout C.J. Spiller will not be pulled from games in short-yardage, third-down or red-zone situations because of size or skill set.
"My philosophy's always been if someone starts off and they're running well, keep feeding them the ball," Marrone said.
Asked if he has any reservations about using Spiller in certain spots, Marrone shook his head.
"I've really seen him as well as Fred work on the things that make them both complete backs," Marrone said. "Our goal, when we put a back back there, is to make sure they're complete backs."
Former coach Chan Gailey bewildered fans with his usage of Spiller at certain points. When the Bills would get inside the red zone, Spiller would stand on the sidelines, farther away from Gailey than any other player.
There were games when the Bills were on a late, must-score drive, yet Spiller wasn't on the field although he averaged 6 yards a carry while rushing for 1,244 yards and six touchdowns. Spiller also caught 43 passes for 459 yards and two touchdowns.
"We have two backs that can produce results," Marrone said. "C.J. has great ability to get outside and also run inside. I see C.J. Spiller, from the time I've been here, has worked extremely hard to really step his game up, and that's exciting.
"I see Fred as a veteran player really work hard and look good. I think we have an opportunity to have two backs back there that can be productive, and sometimes we've had them in the same backfield together in this camp."
For the record, Gailey also had preseason plans to use Spiller and Jackson simultaneously last season before Jackson and Spiller each suffered injuries within the first three games. Once they returned to health, however, Gailey maintained a backfield rotation.
taggedC.J. Spiller | Doug Marrone | Fred Jackson