When discussing running back C.J. Spiller’s role in the Bills backfield last week, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said that the team would keep giving Spiller the ball “until he throws up.”
While Hackett went the colorful route in describing their plans, the implication wasn’t that Spiller would be taking a page from Jamie Foxx in Any Given Sunday and vomiting all over the field on a weekly basis as much as it was that Spiller would be a workhorse. Coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday that he thought people understood that was the point that Hackett was making, but he also said he’d prefer it if the coordinator found another way of expressing himself in the future.
“I think as coaches we need to be careful of what we say,” Marrone said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “I said that to Nathaniel, and I said that to the team. I think we all knew what he meant but, again, in this day and age, not everybody that’s involved in the game of football truly understands that. We want to be true professionals in how we represent our sport.”
However the team chooses to phrase it, Spiller’s role was made clear in Sunday’s preseason opener against the Colts. Spiller was the ballcarrier or intended ballcarrier on five of the team’s first seven offensive plays and then left the game. The ratio might not always be that great, but Spiller’s going to get all the work he can handle this season.