While fans weren't happy when Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson went down with a season-ending injury through only 10 weeks, they had to smile when seeing the progress of former first-round pick C.J. Spiller.
Through the six game stretch, Spiller showed that he can be a weapon out of the backfield. Some began to get frustrated by Spiller's lack of an impact and even began using the word "bust" to describe him. However, Spiller took advantage of his opportunities and now his teammates think he's ready to help even more this season.
Speaking on The Howard Simon Show this morning, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick talked about the differences he sees in Spiller from last year to this year.
"C.J. is a completely changed man. It's been apparent from day one of this off-season. I think the biggest thing with what he did at the end of the year last year, was he got his confidence. You just see how comfortable he is in this system now. He's telling guys, receivers that they're lined up wrong and letting them know... there's just so many things. He's directing people on the field and out of the huddle. I think he's ready to make a big jump. I think mentally he's made a big jump in the last year. With his confidence level where it is right now, we expect big things out of him this year. He really showed last year what he can do."
During that six-game stretch, Spiller had 446 rushing yards, a 5.2 yards per carry average, 24 receptions, 187 receiving yards and five total touchdowns.