The New Orleans Saints and their bag of tricks never seem to fail during the offseason, particularly during the free agency period. Trade Jimmy Graham, deal Kenny Stills. Cut Pierre Thomas, release Curtis Lofton. Are they (front office) out of their minds? Believe me, the thought ran through all of our heads at one point or another in March.
However, Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis were able to bring in some intriguing players that ultimately, could improve this team on both sides of the football. They acquired Pro Bowl center Max Unger, Super Bowl champion linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, a back-to-back world champion in cornerback Brandon Browner and of course, C.J. Spiller, a very promising option to fill the void left by Darren Sproles last offseason.
The No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Spiller was quite the decorated athlete at Clemson. From an All-American track star to an All-American football extraordinaire, he’s got the goods, and I’m willing to bet he’s more ready now than ever to display those talents in the Crescent City.
Spiller is a super-explosive threat with outstanding speed and versatility out of the backfield, and in the open field. His ability to separate is impeccable — he displayed that very well at times, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2012. However, he has yet to see sustained success due to injuries and well, the fact that he played in the Buffalo Bills‘ subpar offense.
We’ll go ahead and imagine a 2015 with a healthy C.J. Spiller all year long. He’s a dual threat — a pure runner and a pass-catching back. This is something the Saints missed in 2014, and it showed. Pierre Thomas was a viable option, but the potential Spiller brings to the Big Easy is almost overwhelming.
What better fit for him than the New Orleans Saints? Arguably the top offense over the past decade, the Black and Gold could be that much after acquiring the abilities of C.J. Spiller.
The team should be excited and the fans should be ecstatic — we know he’s already enticed. “I’ve followed this offense very closely,” Spiller told New Orleans media after signing. “We tried to do some similar stuff at Buffalo early on in my career. And the way that they (Saints) use their running backs in general, it’s very intriguing if you was in my position. You’d be a fool not to take a visit there (New Orleans) and at least see how they can utilize your skill set, especially my type of skill set,” Spiller said.
Perhaps the the most seducing words I heard was in an interview with CBS Sports Radio over the weekend. He was asked why he decided to the choose the New Orleans Saints. “The way they used Reggie Bush and Sproles was very intriguing,” he said.
He was also asked about the level of excitement of playing under head coach Sean Payton and All-Pro QB Drew Brees for an offense that puts up crazy numbers. C.J. Spiller’s words: “I’m hungry like a lion in the jungle.”
Well, the coaches, players and fans of this New Orleans Saints organization are hungry too. If Spiller can remain healthy throughout his career to form a beautiful little one-two punch with Mark Ingram down on the bayou, then everybody’s going to eat. Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles are in the past, and I know it’s tough, but it’s time to move on from Pierre Thomas.
I’ll tell you a secret — an injury-free C.J. Spiller is better than all three of them. There’s a new guy in town, and he’s ready to chow down on victory as a new and improved weapon for Drew Brees and that high-powered offense.