Thursday, September 4, 2014

Marrone: Spiller 'best guy we've got' for kick returns


C.J. Spiller was a proven kick returner at Clemson, and he's shown he can be equally as successful at the pro level.

After finishing the preseason as the Bills' strongest man out of the end zone, it looks like he'll once again be displaying his elusive return skills on a full-time basis.

The team's depth chart lists the 27-year-old running back as the primary returner in front of sophomore wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. And while he didn't flat out confirm Wednesday that Spiller would be the team's leading man on special teams, coach Doug Marrone was more candid about his plans on Thursday.

"Right now, C.J.’s the best guy we’ve got back there," he said via

Spiller hasn't fielded a kick return since 2011, a season where he averaged nearly 24 yards on six attempts. His touches dramatically dropped that year from the prior season, when he returned 44 of the team's 69 total kickoffs and averaged 23 yards per attempt, which included a touchdown.

Marrone quickly shot down any notion of Spiller seeing fewer touches this year because of his involvement in the return game.

"I’m not really planning on that," he said. "Really not at all about that position or that situation really changing his amount of reps."

For Spiller, who had seven return touchdowns in college, it's an assignment he's very comfortable with and ready to take on again. 

"I haven’t done it in a while, but I did it in the preseason," he said. "It felt good to get back out there. I’ve done it before so it’s nothing new to me. It’s just like second nature really."

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