By Tim Graham
A couple weeks ago on the Press Coverage blog, ESPN and Scouts Inc. analyst Matt Williamson explained how C.J. Spiller could resemble Reggie Bush more than ever this year.
New Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone was the New Orleans Saints' offensive coordinator during Bush's first three pro seasons.
Bush's per-game averages over that span would've translated into this season stat line: 652 rushing yards and five touchdowns plus 90 receptions for 673 yards and three touchdowns.
We should expect Spiller's rushing total to be higher than that, but the way Bush was used as a receiver is worth noting.
Spiller, a guest Thursday on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," alluded to how he'll be deployed this year and made it a point to mention lining up as a receiver.
"We're going to try to use me as much as possible and not let teams just get one beam on me and just saying I can just run the ball," Spiller said. "Hopefully, I'll be utilized in space, in the slot or whatever the case may be to try to help us find those mismatches to take advantage of them."
Mmmm hmmm ...
As a reminder, here's what Williamson said about Spiller as a weapon in the passing game:
"Fred Jackson is a good player, and I'd bet they have all sorts of intentions of playing him with Spiller, with Spiller being that running-back-receiver joker guy like Reggie Bush.
"You have to mention Spiller's abilities as a pass-catcher in this offense. Bush was at his best when Marrone was in New Orleans. He was a flex guy. If you counted him as a wideout, then he lined up in the backfield and he ran against nickel. If you counted him as a running back, they split him out to run routes against linebackers."
Mmmm hmmm ...
taggedC.J. Spiller | Doug Marrone