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C.J. Spiller: Buffalo Bills to use me in expanded role
The new Buffalo Bills coach told reporters earlier this week he doesn't see C.J. Spiller merely as a situational running back. The days of seeing the Bills' most explosive playmaker on the sidelines in red-zone situations may be over.
In an interview that will air Friday at 7 p.m. ET on "NFL Total Access," Spiller spoke with Lindsay Rhodes about his opportunity to assume a featured back role in his fourth season. Is he reading into Marrone's comments the same way everyone else is?
"Pretty much," Spiller said. "We're gonna try to use me as much as possible and not let teams get one beam on me and say I can just run the ball. Hopefully I'll be utilized in space -- in the slot, whatever the case may be -- to try to help us find those mismatches to take advantage of."
Last season, Spiller became the first Bills player to gain at least 1,700 yards from scrimmage since Travis Henry in 2002, accomplishing the feat on 138 fewer touches. Spiller was asked if he felt he was underused by former Bills coach Chan Gailey.
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"I can't say that. I had my best year (in 2012) since I've been in the league. Unfortunately, I didn't get the carries the outside world wanted me to get, but I was fine with that," he said. "My best year that I ever had, and I'm looking forward to building on it."
So why didn't Spiller get the workload he deserved last year? Fred Jackson's high standing in the Bills' locker room surely played a role, as did the contract extension the team handed out to Jackson last May. Then there were the questions of whether Spiller had it in him to serve as a bell-cow back.
The Bills won't know the answer to that until Spiller gets his shot. That might be about to happen.