Monday, December 30, 2013
C.J. Spiller falls short of own expectations
By Mike Rodak
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller reflected Monday on a frustrating season that saw him post his worst statistical marks since his rookie season in 2010.
Hampered mid-season by an ankle injury, Spiller finished with 927 rushing yards on 201 carries -- a 4.6 yard average -- and fell short of his own expectations that he set prior to the season.
Running back C.J. Spiller didn't quite achieve the career highs he had predicted for himself at the beginning of the 2013 season.
"I was way down," he said, adding that he wanted to gain 1,500 yards rushing, score 15 touchdowns, and average six yards per carry.
In the preseason, first-year offensive coordinator Nate Hackett said during a radio interview that he would run Spiller "until he threw up." Instead, Spiller's snap percentage fell from over 50 percent last season to about one-third of the snaps this season, but Spiller said Monday he did not feel expectations were unfairly high.
"Nah, I told you all that I wasn't going to throw up. I mean, nobody can never put any higher expectations on me than what I put on myself. Everybody was talking 2,000 [yards]. I already had a goal in my mind what I wanted to do individually as a player, so I was just letting y'all guys speak that stuff and y'all was making all the fantasy owners mad and happy at the same time," he said. "I'm definitely looking forward to coming back and really, really exploding in this offense."
Spiller seemed content Monday with his role within Hackett's offense, saying he has no intention of requesting a trade.
"A trade? Nah. I don't have no reason to. Satisfied. You know, I don't have any, you know, bad feelings with this organization or with [CEO] Russ [Brandon] or with, you know, [general manager] Doug Whaley," Spiller said. "You know, I like Coach [Doug] Marrone and I like Coach [Tyrone] Wheatley, so I have no reason to go nowhere else, but you know that's stuff that I can't control, but I wouldn't go up there and ask for one."
Instead, Spiller said he will focus this offseason on moving forward from his injury and continuing to adapt to the offensive scheme.
"[The injury] had a big effect on how I played because I was in and out of games, really wasn't myself until late in the season," he said. "But now I'll finally get some rest, let it heal as much as it can and then come back next year and really try to explode."
Spiller was used less in the passing game than under former coach Chan Gailey. His 33 receptions and 185 receiving yards were both the lowest marks since his rookie season.
"This is the first year in the offense, so we'll go back and look at some things and see what we can do to bounce ideas off each other, see if we can split me out wide and do certain stuff," he said. "If we able to do that, that's fine, but if not, then I can't sit around and pout about it. I just have to do what's asked of me and first and foremost I got to be running the ball effectively, and then we'll get the passing game going.
"We have so many weapons on offense, it's just crazy than what we've had in previous years. So that's probably one of the reasons why I'm not going to have as many passing yards because of what we got in the receiving room."