Niagara Gazette

Sports

August 16, 2013

Bills' Spiller sets sights on 2000-yd season

Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — C.J. Spiller has several reasons for wanting to seek out Adrian Peterson after Buffalo's preseason game against Minnesota on tonight.

First, the Bills running back intends to playfully rib the Vikings star rusher for nudging out Spiller by a mere fraction in averaging an NFL-best 6.025 yards per carry last season. Spiller averaged 6.009 yards, leading him to wonder whether Peterson couldn't have eased up just a little.

"He couldn't have let me just go ahead and be the yards per carry guy?" Spiller said, with a big grin. "Why did he have to ruin them plans?" More important, Spiller added with a much straighter face, he'd like to get a few pointers on what it took Peterson last season to become the seventh NFL player to reach 2,000 yards rushing. After all, that happens to be one of Spiller's objectives this year.

"It's something you strive for," he said. "When you're in this business, you always want to be considered one of the best. And right now, (Peterson's) done set the bar very high for every other running back."

Peterson has a pat answer prepared for Spiller's query.

"Keep your knees pumping," Peterson said this week. "Just run every play like it's your last play, and believe that you can do it. Have faith."

Spiller has renewed faith in believing he's poised to build upon his breakout season. The third-year player finished eighth in the NFL with a career-best 1,244 yards rushing. And he did so despite just 207 carries in being under-utilized by former coach Chan Gailey, who was wary of wearing down the player.

Spiller has a new coach in Doug Marrone, who is introducing an up-tempo offense that places an emphasis on speedy playmakers. And then there's new coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, who has made no secret of how much he plans to lean on Spiller.

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