It’s All About Fred

Updated: September 26, 2013
Washington Redskins v Buffalo Bills

You gotta love the guy from Coe College! The Division III journeyman is showing his value on the Bills’ roster time and time again.

Fred Jackson did a great job filling in when running back mate C.J. Spiller went down with a thigh injury that was originally reported as a knee injury this past Sunday against the Jets. Freddy stepped in for the injured Spiller and rattled off 72 yards on an impressive seven carries including the something-out-of-nothing 59-yard dash on what looked like a tackle for a loss.

Not only has the “Pride of Coe College” stepped in for Spiller when the running back was injured or needed a breather, he has made numerous veteran-type plays when given the opportunity. Most notably his intentional drop on the final drive verse the Panthers in the Week 2 victory.

Quarterback EJ Manuel threw a dump off pass to Jackson with 47 seconds left in the game. Fred would have been tackled for a one-yard gain if that. Instead of making the reception letting precious seconds run off the clock, the seven-year veteran intentionally dropped the ball. The move stopped the clock and left the Bills roughly an additional 7-10 seconds on the clock. And as we all know… The Bills used those extra seconds to beat the Panthers 24-23.

Jackson verified his veteran move with a tweet after the game.

“Everyone asking. Yes, that was an intentionally drop on 2 min drive,” tweeted Jackson. “Can’t get tackled there and have clock run.”

For those of you who have suggested Buffalo front office trade the veteran Jackson in the past, either in the offseason or when Indianapolis wanted a running back last week, should just stop. It is wise to not trade such a valuable asset to this team.

Is Fred Jackson a better running back at this moment in his career than C.J. Spiller? No.

But, what a lot of players lack on this young team is the leadership and experience that Jackson holds.  That was clear when Jackson talked Sunday after the loss about the difference between converting field goals opposed to scoring touchdowns.

“It definitely had something to do with it. We have to score touchdowns whenever we get the opportunity,” Jackson told reporters. “Scoring field goals is not going to cut it and it came back to bite us in the butt today. As an offensive unit, we can’t settle for that. We’re definitely going to put a lot of pressure on ourselves because of that.”

Jackson’s leadership is essential for this team to be successful in the future. He may not be the most talented player on the Bills offense, but he is the most important.