Coming off back-to-back six win seasons, C.J. Spiller knows league-wide expectations for the Buffalo Bills aren't very high, but with a new coaching staff and a revamped offense, the running back is eager to get the season started and prove to the rest of the league that the team is a contender.
“We don't have the respect of anybody right now, but that's fine,” Spiller said Monday night on TSN Drive. “You've got to go out there and earn it and that's the only way we want it.”
Coming off his first 1,000-yard season, the fourth year pro is excited about the new up-tempo offense new head coach Doug Marrone along with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett are employing.
Through the draft, the Bills were determined to upgrade their offense to complement the likes of Spiller and 1,000-yard receiver Stevie Johnson. This resulted in the selection of quarterback E.J. Manuel in the first round, and receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin in rounds two and three respectively.
Spiller pointed out that this was the most speed he had seen on the offensive side of the ball in his four years in Buffalo and is excited about what the new additions could potentially bring to the table.
“I'm just looking forward to us having a balanced offence,” Spiller said. “With me being one of the playmakers, teams are going to have a lot of attention on me, but that's just going to open up for other guys to make plays.”
The dynamic back, who along with Adrian Peterson led the league in yards per carry, said he was impressed with Goodwin's performance – which included a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – in the team's pre-season opener in Indianapolis.
“I feel great because now I know teams won't be able to stack the box on us,” Spiller said of the 5-foot-9 receiver, who registered a 4.27, 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. “We got somebody finally that can really stretch the field and keep those safeties honest back there because any moment he can run by just about any DB.”
Manuel, who was selected 16th overall also had a solid debut, completing 16 of 21 passes for 107 yards with one touchdown in Sunday's 44-20 win.
“He's very poised, he's very confident in what he does,” Spiller said of the 6-foot-4, 237-pound QB. “He puts in a lot of hard work and preparation leading up to the games and even in practice he works at his craft very hard. He's a leader, he's very confident in the huddle…He's definitely going to be a great player.”
Although he may have been overshadowed by Goodwin and Manuel, 41st overall pick Woods still managed four catches for 32 yards and Spiller said the former USC standout has looked great in practice and that his “game” speed seems faster than his 4.51, 40-time suggests.
With the influx of young talent at key positions looking to mesh with a new coaching staff looking to implement a new offensive gameplan, Spiller said the Bills are in the process of “working out the kinks…and still trying to figure out what everyone does best.”
Spiller said his body felt good at the end of last year despite the increased workload, but pointed out his focus is on the standings and not how many touches he receives.
“I'm not concerned about how many times I carry the ball. I'm just worried about whether we win or lose the game because that's the only thing that matters at the end of the day.”