Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Monday, November 18, 2013
Spiller staying positive with blockers

By Mike Rodak

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- There were a slew of positive takeaways from the Buffalo Bills' 37-14 win over the Jets on Sunday.

The performance of the running game, especially C.J. Spiller, was not one of them.

Spiller finished with 6 yards on 13 carries. In two games against the Jets this season -- he left early in Week 3 with a quad injury -- Spiller has rushed 23 times for 15 yards, an average of 0.7 yards per carry.

C.J. Spiller
C.J. Spiller says he doesn't blame the Bills' offensive line, rather, all groups need to be working together.
Despite the fact that the Jets have the NFL's best run defense, the Bills weren't satisfied.

"We have to get a lot better," coach Doug Marrone said after the game.

As for Spiller's outing, Marrone came to his defense, telling Spiller to confront the offensive line about their play and "tell them you're pissed."

Immediately after the game, Spiller said that wasn't something he wanted to do, especially since "[reporters] would blow it up" if it happened on the sidelines.

On Monday, Spiller elaborated on his approach to Marrone's comments.

"I have a certain way that I handled it. I talked to the guys and I encouraged them," Spiller said. "I told them we'll get it going, don't worry about it. Put this series behind us. The one when [Erik] Pears -- I think Pears might have been beat one time by [Calvin] Pace at the end, and he tackled me -- I told him don't worry about it. Just move on. That's what you got to do."

Several times this season, Marrone and Spiller haven't appeared to be on the same page. Some days, they've spoken to reporters within minutes of each other and provided differing views on Spiller's ankle injury that hobbled him for much of this season.

This is just the latest example, meanwhile, of an apparent disconnect between the first-year NFL head coach and the first-round pick of the previous regime. The split in personalities was something even Marrone highlighted after the game.

"But the difference between me and you, and this is what you have to do now, is go over to that group right there, and you tell them you're pissed," Marrone told Spiller.

Spiller apparently looks at things differently.

"We sit there and dwell on the last series, then we can't do what we want to do further [in] the game. That's the best way. I'm not going to sit there and put my hands up in the air and do all this other stuff," he said Monday. "Yeah, I'm going to be frustrated. I'm probably going to say a couple things that my mom won't approve of, but that's just me being a competitor."

The fourth-year running back admitted Monday that the offensive line likely has its own gripes with Spiller and his running style that often takes him outside the tackles and attempts to beat opponents with speed and quickness on the edge, instead of power up the middle.

"It is a standard here. It's a standard that we want to have the best rushing attack. In order for us to do that, it has to be a collective group effort. [If] one group is not doing their job, the other group has to hold that group accountable," he said. "And that's the same way for [the offensive line]. I wouldn't have a problem with those guys telling me, 'Well, you need to hit the ball up inside. Stop doing what you're doing.' I won't [take] offense to that. I won't shy away from that. I'll go look at the film and I'll go agree with them."

Ultimately, Spiller says, he wants to take a positive approach with his offensive line in dealing with the struggles of the running game.

"It's all about holding each other accountable and not being disrespectful to your teammate," he said. "Once we do that, once we get to that level, then it will be coming together."