Yesterday, Mike Florio posted an article which, I inferred, showed that the Buffalo backfield may become contentious between Jackson and Spiller. This is a link to that article:
Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE that we have two backs that have the potential to run for 1,000 yards each. Also, I want to preface this by saying that it was only my speculation that the backfield may become contentious: there has been no other news that Spiller believes he is entitled to be the starter.
However, it is inevitable that players in skill positions will want to be the star and not in a supporting role. Spiller, who was able to show he can be a productive back after Jackson went down, does have a compelling case that he should be the starter and Jackson begins the 2012 season in more back-up role. For one, Jackson is going to be 31 and, even though he hasn't taken the same hits or had the same workload of other NFL RBs, 30 tends to be that age where every ding and dent can have a lasting impact compared to the bumps and bruises a 21 or 22 year old back will face. Additionally, Spiller's ability will only get better as he gets more reps and has the offense keyed to his specific skill set.
Some scenarios that could play out:
1) Jackson is traded to a team that is competitive but needs a productive RB
Detroit and New England come to mind for this. Both of these teams are playoff contenders and could use a seasoned and productive RB like Jackson to add additional depth to their offense. Detroit can't keep a RB healthy so Jackson could be a nice addition for Jahvid Best in order to keep him healthy down the stretch. And, even though New England has the law firm and Danny Woodhead, neither of these backs are extremely productive in the New England system. Jackson could be a productive back behind NE's line and give an extra dimensions to the offense. Also, Jackson could provide NE the chance to use play-action thereby increasing the chance of opening the middle of the field for Gronk and Hernandez or providing time for Brady's receivers to setup down field for long bombs. In this scenario I could also see Cincinnati being in play.
2) Spiller gets traded for draft picks or for a blockbuster trade
Spiller's stock is high now albeit, with reservations. Taking over for Jackson in week 10 provided enough film of Spiller to at least show teams that he is worthy of his first rounder status and the ability to develope and improve; but, given Chan's reluctance to use him more and claiming (my paraphrasing) "he can't handle a full load" the chances of recouping a first or second round pick are minimal. However, getting a third rounder for Spiller or using Spiller as additional bait to trade up is a strong possibility. This would put us in a better position to get a player who will fill in a greater need while. Also, if a team is willing to deal a proven player instead of giving up a draft pick, Spiller could be used to sweeten the pot.
3) Jackson and Spiller are used as a dynamic tandem
This is the scenario I believe will play out. Jackson and Spiller remain a potent backfield with Jackson slowly handing the reins over to Spiller. The way i envision it is Chan and David Lee start to develop more plays for 2012 with single wing, wish bone or I-Bone formations (thus justifying Brad Smith and bringing the wild cat back to the AFC East). In this type of plan, having two potent backs with good hands is a must. Jackson and Spiller can share the role under center or both can be used to block or receive. With this type of offense, Jackson and Spiller will have defenses reeling. In non-wild cat plays, having either in the back field is a good thing.
So what do you think Rumblers???