C.J. Spiller echoes John Dorsey’s claims that he’s finding his former speed

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16: Running back C.J. Spiller
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16: Running back C.J. Spiller /

C.J. Spiller says he’s not felt this healthy in years and the Chiefs could reap the dividends of a nice bounce-back option at running back.

John Dorsey was the first to say it earlier this offseason: C.J. Spiller was back. Shortly after signing the veteran running back, the Kansas City Chiefs general manager explained his reasoning during a press conference, saying that he saw the old Spiller during his workout.

"“I saw the quickness and the speed that he had in college,” said Dorsey at a press conference. “He was nursing a knee injury – I think when he was with the Saints, and then, he went to Seattle. I saw that twitch back in him that he had earlier in his career.”"

From the first day of organized team activities for the Chiefs this spring, Spiller spoke to the media about the way he was feeling—specifically that he was feeling better than he has in a long time.

"“Me and my trainer, we really worked on a lot of hip mobility, a lot of explosion, just trying to get back to how I felt comfortable before some of these injuries that kind of started taking place,” said Spiller. “It’s been a while since I felt like this, the cutting, the running, all that.”"

Spiller is an interesting addition to the Chiefs roster given the make-up of the current team. The Chiefs certainly have options for returners already, but Tyreek Hill, the team’s best threat, also will earn significantly more snaps on offense this season, which could mean the team is looking to use him less and less on special teams. De’Anthony Thomas is also present and perhaps is the main competition for Spiller to make the roster.

Years ago, Spiller was athletic enough for the Buffalo Bills to invest a top ten pick on him in the NFL Draft. His ability to make defenders pay in open space earned him a Pro Bowl nod in his third overall season, in 2012, when he had over 1,700 yards from scrimmage and 8 touchdowns. Unfortunately injuries took their toll and he never again displayed the same burst even after signing a nice free agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.

With the departure of Knile Davis and the use of Hill on offense more and more in 2017, there’s a need for another kick returner to help carry the load. In addition, a nice pass-catching back with great burst and agility is always a welcome weapon in Andy Reid’s offense. Put the two together and watching Spiller’s hope for return should be an interesting subplot to watch this training camp.