|C.J. Spiller (above) and Fred Jackson find that the best way for both RBs to be effective is to split series. So far, it's a system that is working well for the Bills. (US Presswire)|
The Bills have split carries between the two RBs over the past several weeks as they make their way back from injury. When Jackson returned in Week 4 from a knee injury, the Bills attempted to rotate the two every series but they found it difficult to establish a rhythm under those circumstances. Lately, they've switched every two series instead.
“The first game that Fred came back, we tried to do a one series rotation,” Spiller said. “Me and Fred both thought that was tough. The good thing about our coaching staff, our running backs coach leaves that up to us.
"I went to Fred and I told him, ‘Let's just do two series.' It's kind of hard when you're out there for one series, you get into a flow and then you come out. We thought it'd be best if we do two series, so that's what we've done these last two games. We'll continue to do that. If they want us in certain plays, the coaching staff will do that. But as far as me and Fred are concerned, we think 2-3 series each is better because it kind of keeps everybody fresh.”
Getting each player enough touches remains a concern considering their talents. Jackson began the season as the starter, but Spiller came on strong in his absence and looked particularly explosive in the Week 6 win over Arizona (88 yards on 12 carries, 1 TD). Spiller's average of 7.55 yards per carry is the best by any RB in the NFL since 1960 among players with at least 60 carries through six games.
“They both bring something very unique and they're both really good players,” coach Chan Gailey said. “I like to say and I'm going to keep saying this, that we've got two starters there. Who starts may be more of a package than it is who runs out there the first play. And I'm not going to get caught up in who's the starter, who's the backup, y'all get caught up in that. I don't get caught up in that. We got two good players and we've got to play them both to give ourselves the best chance to win.”
“We know that there is only one football,” Spiller said. “You're not going to get as many (touches) as you want. Would you want to? Yeah, but at the end of the day, you're not because there's only one and we've got a lot of playmakers on this team. It's a good thing to have, I'm glad that we have that problem.”
For more updates on the Bills, follow correspondent Mark Ludwiczak on Twitter @CBSBills and @MarkLud12.