Imagine this: David Garrard is under center. Mike Simms-Walker is split to the left, Troy Williamson is split wide right, Marcedes Lewis next to Eben Britton. Behind David in a T-formation is (left) Maurice Jones Drew and (right) C.J. Spiller. There is a blitz from the left side and Maurice pancakes his man. Marcedes Lewis helps Eben Britton hold the block on the right. Mike Sims-Walker clears out the corner on the left side going deep . C.J. Spiller slips through the line and the left side of the field is wide open. David flips him a seven yard pass. Anyone want to guess what happens next?
Next play, same formation. Marcedes chips a blitzer from the right and drifts out over the middle. David fakes a play action pass to Maurice as C.J. Spiller picks up the blitz from the right. The middle linebacker is frozen with MJD and C.J. in the backfield, the right corner blitzed and the outside linebacker is trying to cover Troy Williamson with safety help. There is no one 15 yards over the middle where Marcedes has drifted.
Last fantasy, Troy Williamson and Marcedes are on the right side, C.J. Spiller behind David. Troy goes deep. C.J. Spiller comes out of the backfield and goes deep. Marcedes goes deep. In the blink of an eye, the Jaguars have three guys flooding the defensive backfield. David needs three seconds of time to find a man 30 yards down field.
Watch this video and imagine for yourself what Dirk Koetter must be thinking.
The possibilities for the offense with C.J. Spiller are so exciting and so dynamic, I can understand why there are a lot of people excited about C.J. possibly coming to the Jaguars.
C.J. Spiller is just shy of 6 foot tall and just shy of 200 lbs. He has real sub-4.4 speed and plays to his speed. Turning the corner is not a problem for him. In fact, he loves to go outside where he has an advantage. I can see him making Brian Cushing look slow just like Zack Miller made Brian look slow. C.J. is an all-purpose yards threat like Reggie Bush was. He usually put up 200 all purpose yards a game in a schedule that features 3 top 15 teams. He has faced tough competition and dominated. He is a very very serious NFL candidate.
What Gene Smith and Jack will like is how he dedicated himself to becoming a better player. He worked on all aspects of his game and is a mini-MJD in that regard. He will block for you, he will pick up the blitz, he will study film. He will also catch passes very nicely and will run very well on kick-offs. He will need to be accounted for on every down. He is a quality individual, a smart and dedicated football player, and will lead by example. There is a lot to like about him.
So why did I recommend we avoid him? I have one concern, his size. I don’t think he can get much bigger and hold his speed. He is not like MJD in that he loves the hit. He is an avoid contact kind of guy. I don’t see him breaking the inside running tackles like MJD. I see a Reggie Bush, not a bad comment, a compliment. One minor thing, I noticed he carries the ball outside his body when running. He might be prone to fumbling in the NFL. Just a quick thought.
With his size, I think he might be an injury risk and that is my real concern. I think he will be a dynamic player on the field, but a few good NFL shots and he might be on IR a bit of time. If that is the case, then we did not receive true value for the pick. You can say that about any player, I get that. Linemen tend to hold up better.
Do I like C.J. Spiller? Hell yes I do. Will I be excited if he comes? Oh my God, yes. Do I think he will make a difference for the Jaguars? Absolutely, without question. Do I think Gene should draft him?
I am torn on that question. This is a great draft for defensive linemen. This is a great draft for the defense in general. The O-Line can be made to be Hall of Fame quality. The D-Line can come back to glory. A hard hitting safety might be there. Of all the things I dream about, do I want a Reggie Bush on the team. Yes and No. I would still pass him by unless he truely is BAP at number 10. I am not convinced he is the right choice when the time comes to make the choice. I don’t see Gene picking him. Somehow I feel sad about that. Part of me, a big part, wants the excitement. A big part of me wants the “come to my feet” experience at the stadium. C.J. can bring that. Man, am I torn on this one. Can anyone help me out? Comments please!
– Terry O’Brien