CJ Spiller wants to be NFL’s best running back

  • Joe Ray
cj spiller

Is CJ Spiller one of the NFL’s best rushers? (AP Images)

Buffalo Bills running back CJ Spiller had about as quiet as a breakout season as was possible in 2012. Spiller ran for 1,244 yards and an insane 6.0 yards per carry on 207 rushes. But is the best yet to come from the 26-year-old running back?

Spiller has never been the go-to guy for the Bills, playing behind Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson throughout his three-year career. he might finally get the chance to do so, as he enters the 2013 season with a new head coach, Doug Marrone. Jackson, now 32, figures to be fading from the spotlight sooner or later, and Spiller is ready to capitalize on his opportunity.

After Spiller’s great 2012 season, he’s started to receive some significant recognition around the NFL. CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco’s list of the NFL’s top 100 players had Spiller seeded at number 89. Spiller has been keeping an eye on NFL.com’s Top 100 players which is voted on by current NFL players. As Tim Graham of the Buffalo News writes, Spiller would love to have a part in that celebrated group.

Spiller’s entering this season with perspective, but he’s not backing away from those lofty goals and is keeping an eye on whether he’ll appear on the NFL Network’s “The Top 100 Players of 2013″ list.

“That would be a great honor to be on because that’s voted on by your peers,” Spiller said. “But if not, you can’t let that kill your confidence. It would just add another woodblock to your fire because you always want to be one of the best in this league and at your position.”

If Spiller does hope to place in that list, he will be ahead of running backs such as Doug Martin, Chris Johnson, Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, and Maurice Jones-Drew.

Spiller also wants to shoot for a 2,000 yard season at some point in his career, and he is working to be the best running back in the NFL. To some, these comments might come off as a bit self-centered, but Spiller is a guy that has his head on straight.

“You’re always shooting to be the best,” Spiller said after Wednesday’s voluntary workout at One Bills Drive.

“It’s on the bucket list,” Spiller said. “There’s only a few guys that can say they’re in the 2,000 club.

“At the end of the day, if you can get that and still don’t make the playoffs, it’ll look good for that individual, but for the team you’re going home in January. So my main focus is trying to win and figuring out a way to get my team over the hump and not go home early.”

Spiller will have to take a step forward and be the Bills’ top offensive weapon if they want a shot at the playoffs in the near future. The Bills have not finished a season with a .500 winning percentage since 2004. With four years left before hitting the dreaded running back age of 30, Spiller has a legitimate chance to carve his role as one of the league’s top running backs.

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Down and Distance Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK

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