Tonawanda News — He also had some personal baggage to contend with. Spiller is still coming to grips with the lingering emotions that came after his step-grandfather shot and killed two people before killing himself in Florida three weeks ago.
“There was a lot going through my brain,” Spiller acknowledged. “But I’m not going to use that as an excuse. And I can’t use that as a crutch throughout the season. If I play bad, I’m going to man up and say I played bad.”
And now he intends on focusing on playing better as the Bills prepare to host the Carolina Panthers (0-1) on Sunday.
“I’m not worried about that performance derailing or having an effect on the whole season. It’s just one game,” Spiller said. “I’ve done moved it behind me.”
The challenge for Spiller to bounce back doesn’t get much easier in facing a defense that’s stout against the run.
The Panthers limited the Marshawn Lynch-led Seattle to 70 yards rushing in a 12-7 loss to the Seahawks last weekend. That extended a string to five games dating to last season in which then Panthers have not given up more than 70 yards rushing.
Carolina’s defense features a physical front seven that includes hard-hitting linebacker Luke Kuechly, the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year last season.
Spiller understands the Panthers are likely to key on him.
“I embrace the challenge,” he said. “My biggest thing is I just have to go back to my basics. There were a lot of runs I missed out there Sunday that I wish I would’ve made. The good thing is now I’ve seen it. Now I can correct it.”
The Bills do have the benefit of having a 1-2 running back punch with veteran Fred Jackson serving as Spiller’s backup.