On Monday, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson expressed frustration with his role in Buffalo's backfield, having lost a lot of first-team reps recently to C.J. Spiller. By Tuesday, Bills running backs coach (and pseudo-offensive coordinator) Curtis Modkins had already clarified the staff's stance on Jackson's role.
"I sat down with Coach Modkins. We had a productive talk," Jackson told reporters Tuesday. "He kind of let me know where I stood, and we'll kind of take things from there.
"He told me that I was the starter, and we can go from there, but we'll see how things pan out - see what we do when we get to Saturday."
Jackson also went out of his way to make three things clear: he'd like to re-do his contract at some point; his expressed frustration dealt specifically with his role, and not with the direction of the organization; and he and Spiller are getting along just fine, thanks very much.
"C.J. and I have a great relationship," Jackson said. "I don't have any kind of personal animosity towards him. He knows that. He's like a little brother to me. We have a great relationship, we're going to work well together. We'll do whatever we can to help this team win. There's by no means any personal hatred towards C.J."
Bills head coach Chan Gailey was politically correct, if not outwardly truthful, about his opinions on Jackson as a member of his offense.
"Fred is a great player and is going to be a great player," Gailey said Tuesday. "We look forward to what he’s going to do for us this year. He’s going to have a big part in our offense this year."
Spiller, for the record, is also saying all the right things. He says he understands where Jackson is coming from, and is trying to earn any playing time the coaches give him over the veteran.
"That’s up to the coaches," Spiller said. "I’m coming out here every day trying to get better. This is my second year, I feel like I’m making improvements and Fred has proven himself. Fred doesn’t have anything else to prove to anybody. I’m just a guy trying to learn off of what he has done."