With numbers during his rookie season that add up to a few good games, it’s safe to say that CJ Spiller knows he must improve as he enters his second NFL season.
“It was definitely frustrating,” Spiller said after Monday’s morning practice at St John Fisher. “Not just from a personal standpoint but as a team. Who wants to go 4-12? Our goal was to make the playoffs and we fell short of that goal.”
He carried the ball just 74 times last season, gaining 283 yards on the ground with no touchdowns. His only score of the season came on a pass catch in the Bills 38-30 loss to the Patriots on September 26th.
During the lockout, Spiller dedicated himself to watching each play that he was involved in, and it didn’t take long for the ninth pick of the 2010 draft to notice something.
“I wasn’t being as patient as I normally had,” Spiller said. “I was sometimes over-running the holes and wasn’t using my ability to my advantage once I got into open field and that’s something I tried to work on this off-season.”
He enters his second season feeling more experienced, and like the game has slowed down a bit for him. Along with Fred Jackson in Buffalo’s backfield, Spiller is going to play a large role in the team’s offense. The intricacies of that role await even Spiller himself.
“It’s too early right now to determine that. We’ve got a lot of weapons on this offense, with the additions we made in free agency and the guys we have coming back. We haven’t really sat down individually and talked about what my role is. My role is to go out there when my number is called and helped the team win.”
And when that number is called, it will be a different one this year. Spiller worked out a trade with teammate Leodis McKelvin and will be wearing #28 this season, the number he wore at Clemson and in high school.
“I always wanted to get back to #28, it was just a matter of when it became available…Leodis and I talked about it and it’s the number I’ve had since 10th grade in high school.”