C.J. Spiller: "My focus is on getting ready for New England"

Posted Sep 1, 2013

The Bills running back talks about coming back to the team and the support he received after his family situation in Florida.

RB C.J. Spiller
September 1, 2013

Q: Can you take us through the emotions of last week?

A: Well it was very emotional. If anybody in here has lost anyone close, I’m sure some of you have, a grandparent or something, you can understand or feel the emotions that I was going through. First, I just want to say I found out before the (Redskins) game, then my decision was to play. This organization, I mean this a first class organization. The way they send their support, their thoughts and prayers to everybody involved because if you don’t know, my hometown is a 1,900 population. It’s a small community, so when they wanted to send their condolences down to all of Union County, it speaks volumes about the organization that we have here. Like I said the supporting cast of Coach Marrone, our CEO Russ (Brandon) and our GM Doug Whaley; I was texting those guys, checking up on them, they were checking up on me. I was letting them know I was pretty good. I just wanted to get that out the way and thank everybody for the privacy for the most part with my family. We were grieving and everyone was trying to get a statement, but it wasn’t the appropriate time that I thought. I told them I’d handle everything as far as a statement or whatever once I got back to Buffalo.

Q: I know you just shared a hug there with Coach Marrone. In the short time that you’ve gotten to know him, is he someone you can lean on for support in that situation?
A: Yeah. He’s our Head Coach. It doesn’t matter if I had known him for one day or I had known him for one hour, he was very supportive when we found out about the accident and he’s going to continue to be supportive. Those were his words and for that to come from your head coach, someone who I haven’t had a long relationship with, it means the world to me. My running back group, Fred (Jackson) was the first one that knew. He came right up to me and he held his support and Coach Wheatley. He was up there talking to me and giving me support, just letting me have the moment to myself. Like I said, the whole staff and the players, it’s been great support.

Q: Just to be back with your football family, will that help?
A: Obviously it will. This is what I wanted to do. I know reports out there about when I was going to return. I knew it was going to be this week and I knew it was probably going to be today because I wanted to be around my guys and be able to come and practice with these guys and get ready for New England. I understand that it is a tragic event that took place and it’s going to take a while to cope with, but at the same time I can’t forget the task and the goal and the dreams that we have here as a team and an organization. I wanted to be a part of that. I’ll do everything I can to make sure I’m ready to go.

Q: How do you go about putting this behind you and getting ready to go?

A: Well obviously I’d be lying if I said I’ve put it behind me. It’s still early, there are still emotions there. When I get out there on the football field, that’s all I’m worried about. Obviously when I go home and stuff like that you should be able to cope with it. I’m pretty sure if I need any guidance or counseling, I can get that. For the most part, once I touch the field, my main focus is football. That’s how my whole family wanted it. That’s how my Mom wanted me to do. She told me when I come back to make sure my focus is on getting ready for New England.