INDIANAPOLIS — C.J. Spiller has yet to light the NFL on fire, but Chan Gailey hasn’t given up hope.
Gailey will be the first to tell you Spiller’s rookie year was nowhere near what he envisioned — but he cautioned there were circumstances that led to that.
“It didn’t work out like everybody planned — he planned, I planned, any fan out there planned — it didn’t work out like any of us had planned,” Gailey said.
“I still think he’s going to be a very good to great player for the Buffalo Bills. There’s no question in my mind about that.”
Gailey then put some of the blame on himself.
“I think I’ll do a better job of creating ways to use him more,” he said.
“When you are establishing what you’re trying to get done offensively, you have a hard time deviating too much to do things for one guy and to create things for one guy because we were in the process of evaluating everybody and trying to create things for everybody on our offence. It was a getting-to-know-you year. So, I think I’ll do a better job next year of incorporating him.”
Spiller, the No. 9 selection overall last season, didn’t get off scot-free either.
“I think he’s got to do better at ball security and pass protection,” Gailey said. “Those are the two areas he’s got to get better at. I’m not telling you anything we haven’t told him.”
And Gailey isn’t about to judge him off one sub-par season.
“He’s still a great player,” Gailey said.
“He’s still a great young man. He is going to be very productive in this league for a long time. Just because it didn’t work out, that wasn’t his fault. I don’t even think it was the process’ fault of who to draft.
“I think it is more the product of the situation and us being in our first year. If we would have been in the third year and taken him, I don’t think it would have had the same results.”