FanPost

Is it time to stop blaming Gailey for mis- or under-using CJ?

Two caveats - 1) CJ is hurt (not injured), 2) the no-huddle makes substitutions problematic because you don't want to allow the D to make substitutions. That said, when CJ was healthy, he would request out after two to three runs, usually one that included extensive running and cutting. This is not to say that CJ is in poor condition. I genuinely think he expends more energy than the average human on a single play. But when Nate Hackett said he would give the ball to CJ until he puked, did he contemplate that CJ would need frequent breathers due to his running style and due to the offense? Once CJ subs out, the no-huddle requires that he stay out because the umpire stops action to allow the defense to match any offensive substitutions, and thus negating the biggest advantages gained by the no-huddle. We were all frustrated with Chan Gailey's frequent substitutions with CJ and wanted to see CJ get closer to 15-20 carries a game. Now, after Coach Hackett promised to make CJ a workhorse (and tricked many a fantasy player into a top 3 pick), has it become clear that CJ is just NOT capable of sustaining extended carries, whether it be due to injuries, rest, or the offensive design? Was Gailey properly utilizing CJ to maximize his explosiveness all along? I know Brian has given Gailey credit for being a terrific playcaller on this blog. I wonder if we haven't seen enough of CJ to recognize him for the player that Gailey saw him as: an explosive, mesmerizing playmaker, but someone who needs a second back to carry the full burden of the running game. Am I wrong to think that the Gailey-style usage of CJ, ie frequent breaks, limited touches in the running game, more touches in the screen game, may be the best way to maximize his gamebreaking potential? I also want to be clear that I don't find this to be a knock on CJ - he is what he is, and what he is is an elite talent that can swing games for us if we can keep him on the field and in playcalls that take full advantage of his skill set. I suggest we embrace him in that role. I also think that, on this topic, Gailey might've known what he was doing.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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