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C.J. Spillman claims he does not get winded

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- C.J. Spillman does not get winded.

That's what the San Francisco 49ers backup safety and special-teamer told me Tuesday in the Superdome.

I thought Spillman might have more in common with Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller that all but a few letters when I saw Spillman stationed next to a Gatorade dispenser on media day.

Was Spillman out of gas?

"No, man, because when we play special teams and stuff like that, we're used to 70-, 80-yard sprints every play," Spillman said. "So the way we condition, we don't get tired."

Spillman laughed when I asked him about Spiller.

"People are always, 'Yeah, man, you did great at Clemson!' Or 'You're on my fantasy team! You got me a lot of points!' " Spillman said. "I'm, like, 'You got the wrong guy, man.' "

Spillman knows about Spiller. Buffalo played San Francisco in Candlestick Park in Week Five, and Spiller's skills were emphasized in meetings. San Francisco held Spiller to 24 yards seven carries and no receptions.

"He's a fast guy who'll try to stretch the corner," Spillman said. "He's a downhill runner."

Spillman is the backup free safety behind All-Pro DaShon Goldson. Spillman didn't start a game, but he played in all 16. He was third on the Niners with 10 special-teams tackles and a fumble recovery in the regular season. He also had a special-teams recovery in the playoffs.

"This year has been a fun year," Spillman said. "From last year to this year, knowing the team that we have and where we wanted to be and what we wanted to accomplish, we wanted to just build off that and keep things going."

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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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