Wednesday, November 13, 2013
C.J. Spiller: 'I just go in when I'm told'
By Mike Rodak
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- In a season that has seen Doug Marrone and C.J. Spiller offer differing opinions on Spiller's ankle injury, the see-saw between head coach and running back continued to creak on Wednesday.
Two days after Marrone said Spiller's lack of playing time Sunday in Pittsburgh -- he played just 33 percent of offensive snaps -- was due to game plan and not injury, Spiller wasn't willing to churn the waters any further.
"I don't know. I just go in when I'm told to go into the game," Spiller said. "I'm just frustrated that we're on a three-game losing streak. I'm not frustrated with the amount that I'm touching [the ball]."
Earlier this season, Marrone and Spiller disagreed on the condition of Spiller's ankle after he suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 4. Then last week, Marrone removed Spiller from the injury report, saying he was a "full go," while Spiller said he was not yet back to full health.
Spiller rushed eight times for 23 yards in a loss to the Steelers, one week after averaging nearly 10 yards per carry against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Asked if he has sat down with offensive coordinator Nate Hackett to discuss his usage, Spiller said it's not something he plans on doing.
"I've just never done that in my whole career. It's probably something from the outside people will say 'You need to do it.' But ever since I've been playing football, I haven't done it," he said. "I don't think I'm going to change it now."
Earlier Wednesday, Marrone reiterated his confidence in both Spiller and veteran Fred Jackson.
"We're ranked eighth in rushing. We're the only team that has two running backs over 500 yards," Marrone said. "Both of those players are playing well, so when both of those guys are in there, I view them as both number ones for us. I've always said it -- from the beginning, when I got the job -- that I like having two different backs. I like having two different styles, and that's we have."
The desire to split carries, though, conflicts with comments from Hackett, who said in August that the Bills wanted to run Spiller "until he threw up."
"Obviously I know Coach Hackett said what he said and that came out, and we were looking to get a guy out there and get going," Marrone said Wednesday. "But if you look at my background, I've always had the two running backs. I really have. And I believe in that."
Part of what may have limited Spiller's playing time, other than his injury, is consistency. Spiller has broken several long runs, but also is frequently stopped for no gain or short losses.
"It's tough. Hey, when there's negative yardage, all the sudden there is the big one that you didn't think was going to get any yards and it pops for 50 [yards]," Marrone said. "Consistency is always important. That's what we're always looking for and C.J. is looking for it, too. So we just need to continue working with him on that and putting in schemes and situations that can help him."