Top 10 New Orleans Saints to watch at training camp: No. 6, C.J. Spiller


In one of several enthralling offseason modifications, the New Orleans Saints were able to acquire an undeniable talent in running back C.J. Spiller.

A man defined by upside, Spiller certainly has the potential to come in and add a tremendous boost to an already high-powered offense.  While Drew Brees and company still finished atop of the NFL stat sheet, that unit was indeed missing a spark without Darren Sproles, and it showed with a lack of unpredictability.

Sure, fan-favorite Pierre Thomas could handle pass-catching duties out of the backfield, but his athleticism did not at all match up with the likes of a Sproles or Reggie Bush.  However, C.J. Spiller’s talents could indeed bring back some memories.

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‘ shabby 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.  Again, Pierre Thomas was a viable option, but the potential Spiller brings to the Big Easy is almost overwhelming.  It’s almost time to catch a glimpse of that firsthand at training camp.

Arguably the most consistent offense to hit the field over the past decade, is there honestly a better fit for C.J. Spiller than the New Orleans Saints?  He seems to be intrigued.

“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.”

If Spiller can remain healthy to form a nice little one-two punch with Mark Ingram down on the bayou, the ceiling is endless for this offense. Bush and Sproles are in the past, and I know it’s tough, but it’s time to move on from Pierre Thomas.

C.J. Spiller could be better than all three of them, and he’ll finally get his chance to turn heads as one of the most intriguing players on the field when training camp gets underway July 30.

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