31-Year-Old Fred Jackson: New Contract, Same Mentality for Buffalo Bills Running Back

May 9, 2012 – 5:45 am by Brad Gagnon

It’s rare you see teams invest in 31-year-old running backs, but Fred Jackson is no ordinary 31-year-old running back. Jackson had only four NFL starts under his belt prior to his 28th birthday, and he’s coming off a stellar — albeit shortened — season with the Buffalo Bills. Fresh off signing a new two-year contract worth up to $9 million, Jackson still plans to continue to play with a chip on his shoulder. And with the younger and more highly touted C.J. Spiller competing for reps, that’s probably a smart strategy.

Fred Jackson joined Brady and Lang on the Fan 590 in Toronto to talk about his new contract, the honor general manager Buddy Nix possesses, his me-against-the-world mentality, the team’s eventful offseason, his role in the passing game and how often he and his teammates are hit up for money.

On general manager Buddy Nix living up to his word and giving him his extension:

“Buddy Nix has been a man of his word since I’ve known him, so he came through and he did exactly what he said he was gonna do. So that’s just a tribute to how he’s done business and I think a lot of people can respect him for that.”

On if he’s still taking the mindset that he’s an undrafted player from a relatively unknown school:

“Without a doubt. That’s what got me to where I am today and that’s how I’ll continue to play. It’s always been me against the world so to speak. A lot of people telling me I couldn’t do it. There’ll be different challenges this year. You’ll start to hear that he’s 31 and will he start slowing down? And he’s coming off a season-ending leg injury, will he be the same? It’ll be things like that that motivate me. So I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be ready to go 100 percent.”

On the team’s proactive approach to the offseason in free agency and the draft:

“I think everything that they’ve done up in the front office is added some key pieces for us to take it to the next level. And I’m excited about it and a lot of guys, if not all the guys in that locker room are excited about it. And it’s put a buzz in the fans’ ears and they’re all excited about it.”

In light of Terrell Owens’ situation, how often he and his peers are asked about investments and loans:

“Every day. It’s part of everyday life. But that’s the best thing about it is you can surround good people around yourself and let them make the decisions for you. Granted, you have to find great people to do that, but that’s the thing about it. We have a great NFLPA that will help you find those type of people now, but it’s an everyday question that you get.”

If the Bills are looking to get him the ball through the air more this year:

“That’s the plan. I’ve always prided myself on being able to catch the ball out of the backfield and run routes when I have to, and that’s something that (Ryan Fitzpatrick) trusts me to do. He will do whatever he can to put the ball in anybody’s hands to make plays for them, so hopefully I can continue to pick up where I left off last year and continue to make plays for them in the passing game as well.”

Listen to Fred Jackson on the Fan 590 here (starts at 1:48)

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