Monday's Buffalo Bills buzzword following yet another excruciating loss that saw the team's star player relegated to sideline duty? "Winded."
After a little back-and-forth through reporters from head coach Chan Gailey and running back C.J. Spiller about the latter's work load and the former's comments about the runner getting "winded" during game action, Spiller told The Toronto Sun that he and Gailey discussed the comments on Monday.
"I cleared the air," Spiller told John Kryk. "I had a great conversation with coach Gailey. (It is) very confidential between me and him." He'd later continue, "It went well. I wanted to understand what he meant by his comments, and he understood what I meant. I think we’re straight on those now."
Earlier in the afternoon, however, Spiller's frustration was leaking through his commentary to Buffalo-area reporters regarding his work load and Gailey's comments.
"I’m in shape and I’m just going to leave it at that," Spiller told reporters earlier on Monday. "And I’ll sit down with coach and just get a better understanding. I wanted to do that before I met with you guys, but time didn’t allow it. But I’ll go up there and see what he meant. I think I’m in shape."
Gailey, for the record, agreed with Spiller's assessment of his conditioning.
"He’s in great shape," said Gailey. "I think a lot has been made about him tapping out, but we send him on a lot of deep routes and he has some long runs. We allow everybody – we allow receivers, we allow everybody to tap out if they get tired. He’s back in there when he’s rested and he’s ready to go."
The ability to handle a full work load has been a sticking point not only for the Bills throughout Spiller's career, but for the running back, as well. After he carried the ball a career-high 22 times in a Week 11 win over Miami, Spiller was more exuberant than usual in talking about the feat in a post-game interview with NFL Network.
"When someone questions you as a man, I take that to heart," Spiller said. "People are saying I'm too small and can't do it. And I just wanted to come out and show them I could do it. I could've toted it 30 times tonight if I wanted."
For the moment, though, this commentary is behind the coach and the player - at least until next Sunday, when Spiller will once again be the team's feature back thanks to a season-ending injury to Fred Jackson. If Spiller's load doesn't dramatically increase now, the coach and the player may have more discuss before the end of the season.