Bills running back C.J. Spiller is a very self-motivated player. It's the main thing he points to when reflecting on his breakout 2012 season in which he averaged six yards a carry en route to a 1,200-plus yard rushing season that earned him his first AFC Pro Bowl nod, as he'll now fill in for the Super Bowl bound Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens. But knowing he'll carry that Pro Bowl label into the 2013 campaign, Spiller is more motivated than ever to raise his game again.
"Now that I've got this label I've got to take my game up and train even harder," said Spiller in reference to his offseason regimen. "I don't need any motivation, because everybody is going to expect that out of me and I'm going to expect that out of myself as well."
Spiller has been spending the past couple of weeks with his daughter at home in Florida. He'll make the long flight out to Honolulu Tuesday morning along with teammate Kyle Williams, who is headed to his second career Pro Bowl.
Both men while appreciative of the honor are more focused on making the team more successful under new head coach Doug Marrone.
"It's always an honor to represent your team and the city of Buffalo in the Pro Bowl," said Williams. "To be recognized by the fans, your peers and the coaches you play against means a lot. Our goal next year, as it is every season, is to still be competing at this time. It would be great for us, the fans and the city of Buffalo if we'd be able to watch the Pro Bowl next year as we're continuing our journey for a Super Bowl."
"The main thing for me is what can I do to help my team get to the playoffs? Sitting around watch these guys in the playoffs and watching the conference championship games gives me the chills," said Spiller. "You want to be out there and you want to be in those big games. You want to be the one making those big plays and holding up the Lamar Hunt trophy and winning the AFC and going to the Super Bowl."
While much has been made of the level of intensity that the Pro Bowl carries in recent years Spiller intends to treat it like any other game.
"I'm not going into it cautiously because that's how you get hurt, when you go out there trying not to give your all," Spiller said. "I'm going to approach it like I always approaching, which is go out there and do my best. I'm not only representing myself, but I'm representing the organization and I don't want people saying that the Bills players didn't give their all. So I'm going to go out there and try my best. However the other guys approach it that's their thing, but once the ball is kicked off its football to me and you've got to try to go out there and win the game."
Spiller called his 2012 season and subsequent Pro Bowl nod as a stepping stone. He undoubtedly believes there's a lot more than he can do for his team by way of production on the field. He has no interest in looking back on his successful individual season. Spiller is more interested in improving on it.
"What I mean is you don't want to have a great season and then tail off and not have any more great seasons," he said. "So you kind of want to build off each season and this being my first 1,000-yard year you always want to do something better next year. I don't want to take any steps back in my career. I want to always have something to look forward to the next year."