Inside The Bills

C.J. & O-line fine with constructive criticism

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2013 – 4:19 pm

It was evident in Sunday’s game that C.J. Spiller was getting frustrated, especially when Jets defensive linemen were dropping him in the offensive backfield for three and four-yard losses very soon after he was handed the ball. New York’s stout run front is tough to handle and they came right through Buffalo’s offensive line on occasion. Head coach Doug Marrone told Spiller to address it with his teammates. Spiller did.

When asked how he handled it, Spiller said he didn’t take a negative tone with his teammates.

“Everybody on the sidelines saw that I was frustrated coming off the field and I was,” he said. “As soon as you get the ball you don’t want to be getting hit for a negative loss. But I didn’t go over there and yell at the guys. I don’t want you all to think I’m being selfish or something else. I have a certain way that I handle it.

“I talked to the guys and I encouraged them. I told that we’ll get it going and not to worry about it. Put that series behind us. I think the one when (Erik) Pears got beat one time on Pace and he tackled me. I told him don’t worry about it. Move on because that’s what you’ve got to do. If you dwell on the last series then you can’t focus on doing what you’ve got to do the rest of the game.”

As far as Buffalo’s offensive line is concerned that kind of communication is fine with them.

“I feel like guys that are established like C.J. on this team if they want to come say something to us, go for it,” said Eric Wood. “We’re all about it. If he misses a hole and I think he needs to hit it somewhere I’ll tell him. If guys are missing blocks and he wants to say something we welcome it and that can give you a kind of different perspective. Instead of hearing it from a coach you hear one of your teammates come down and say it that can do something.”

Only four times in his career has Spiller averaged less than a yard per carry, twice against the Dolphins and twice against the Jets. One of them was his first career NFL game against Miami when he had seven carries for six yards. His average of a half yard per carry Sunday however, was a career low. Still, he wasn’t about to take his linemen to task in a derogatory way.

“I’m not going to sit there and throw my hands up in the air,” he said. “Yes, I’m going to be frustrated and say a few things that my mom probably wouldn’t approve of, but that’s just me being a competitor.”

Marrone has done a solid job of making players accountable to one another and has pushed them to get after each other when one part of the team feels like another might be lagging in a game. And the players understand feeling it helps to uphold the standard needed to become a winning football team.

“Yeah it is a standard here,” Spiller said. “It’s a standard that we want to have the best rushing attack and in order for us to do that it has to be a collective group effort. If one group is not doing their job then the one group has to hold the other group accountable.

“It’s the same for those guys. I wouldn’t have a problem with those guys coming to me and telling me, ‘Well you need to hit the ball up inside and stop doing what you’re doing.’ I won’t take offense to that. I won’t shy away from it and I’ll go look at the film and I’ll agree with them. It’s about holding each other accountable without being disrespectful to your teammate. And once we do that we’ll become elite.”


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