After one season with Buffalo Bills running back and former 2010 first round pick C.J. Spiller in the fold, it's safe to say it was a year to forget for all parties involved.
A promising preseason shed some optimism heading in to the first game against Miami, prompting the Bills to name Spiller the starting running back. But his very first game didn't go the way anyone wanted it to, rushing for only six yards on seven carries.
In the third week of the season, Spiller shot out of a cannon for a special teams touchdown, and added a receiving score too. But besides that game, his season of 283 rushing yards, no touchdowns and a yards per carry average of 3.8 left a ton to be desired.
Despite that fact, the former ninth overall pick knows exactly what he needs to do personally to help the Bills, and is prepared to do just that.
"Taking care of the ball and try to improve in all aspects of the game." Spiller continued, "Blocking, running more physical, having a bit more awareness of what's going on around me. I definitely had a great learning experience that first year and I'm excited about year two."
A rather lengthy off-season saw many different players around the NFL get prepared for training camp in their own unique way. Spiller said he split time between California, Florida and South Carolina, did some running and lifting work at his high school, and even snuck in some workouts with professional guys.
"I had a couple days with Clay Matthews, Antonio Cromartie, Jimmy Clausen, Casey Matthews," said Spiller. "It was all kind of fun and got a couple of days in."
Now with the 132-day NFL Lockout being old news, training camp is in full swing for the Buffalo running back and the rest of his teammates at St. John Fisher College.
"It's going pretty good so far," Spiller remarked. "I definitely feel more comfortable this year than I did last year when I came in so just trying to take one step at a time."
With expectations from fans and the media for Spiller to have a breakout season, he wouldn't exactly say what his personal goals are for the season, but rather spoke on what level he'd like the team as a whole to get to.
"I have high expectations," asserted Spiller. "Main thing is getting in to the playoffs. I think that's every team's goal is to try to make the playoffs. We've definitely come off a disappointing 4-12 record. So, our main thing is get to the playoffs and see what happens. But first we've just got to put in the work, and take it one step at a time."
It would be fair to say if the Bills were to get back to that level, a heightened production total from Spiller would help in that process.
"Everybody always says you take that big jump from year one to year two so, we'll see how it goes," replied Spiller.
The second-year pro is currently behind fellow running back Fred Jackson on the depth chart.