In 2010, Bills running back Fred Jackson was facing the prospect of being a backup in a crowded backfield that included former first round pick Marshawn Lynch and highly-touted No.9 overall draft pick rookie C.J. Spiller.
Jackson seemingly got little respect despite for gaining over a 1,000 yards the previous season. As Tim Graham of ESPN.com writes, Jackson was kinda in no-man’s land and didn’t start the first four games of the season, carrying the ball over 20 times for a total of 87 yards.
Things have changed since then. Lynch was dealt during the season last year and Spiller did not exactly have a stellar rookie year, scoring only one touchdown. Workhorse Fred Jackson went to back to being the main guy and gained yards the second half of the season, tying with Ray Rice for sixth in the NFL in that span. The running backs ahead of them were Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Pretty respectable company.
Unlike 2010, Jackson is counting on keeping his feature-back job for the 2011 season. “Right now, I feel like I’m the No. 1 guy and C.J. will come in and get a lot of plays,” Jackson said. “I feel like I’m going to be the guy that’s carrying the load and has got to make that running game go.” Of course, the Bills better get a lot more production out of Spiller this year to have any chance of competing but it is not a good sign the Spiller is not at the informal workouts currently being let by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jackson.
The Bills won’t take Jackson for granted again. Look for him to get at least 250 carries this season.