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C.J. Spiller doesn't understand Chan Gailey's 'winded' comments

By Tim Graham

It's just another manic Monday.

I wish it was Sunday.

That's my fun day.

My I-don't-have-to-run day.

Just like C.J. Spiller.

The Buffalo Bills running back had his fewest touches in two months in Sunday's last-minute defeat to the St. Louis Rams in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Spiller's workload will increase with Fred Jackson headed to injured reserve, but perhaps the biggest storyline when we review 2012 will be why Spiller didn't get the ball more often this season.

Gailey repeatedly has mentioned that Spiller gets "winded." As far as we know, Spiller is a finely tuned professional athlete without a Marlboro habit. He was asked today about his conditioning.

"I'm not going to get into a battle with my head coach if I'm winded," Spiller said. "I'm in shape. Let's just put it like that. I'm in shape. If I wasn't in shape, then I shouldn't be on the field. But I'm in shape."

Spiller had eight touches Sunday -- one over the final 22 minutes of the game. The Bills tried to get the ball to rookie receiver T.J. Graham as often as they did to Spiller, the NFL's leader in yards per carry.

Afterward, Gailey again mentioned Spiller "gets winded and he comes out."

Spiller admitted this afternoon he didn't understand Gailey's comment.

"I'll sit down with Coach and just get a better understanding," Spiller said. "I'll see what he meant because I don't know.

"I think I'm in shape. I mean, if you score on a 60-yard touchdown, I'm pretty sure your wind's not going to sit there and be normal like you just run a 5-yarder. I asked Chris Johnson after he ran that 80-some-yarder against us. He said, 'Yeah, I was a little winded.' He's a world-class athlete."

Spiller acknowledged he asked to come off the field after his 15-yard screen play in the first half, but that was the only time during the game. Gailey concurred with that recollection.

"I came out that one play on the screen," Spiller said. "But once I came to the sidelines, I told the guy that does our personnel changes, I let him know I was ready literally after one or two plays I was ready to go back in, but they stuck with the personnel that was out there."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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