Jun 18, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) heads to the field for the Bills Minicamp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills OC Nathaniel Hackett excited about EJ Manuel

E.J. Manuel has plenty to prove in 2014 with the Buffalo Bills with training camp just around the corner. While there has been plenty of talk, both good and bad, surrounding the second year quarterback, it is that very nature of his position that excites offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

Hackett told reporters in a video interview posted to the team’s website that he has seen improvement from Manuel ‘without a doubt’.

“The biggest thing is always the quarterback. Being familiar with the system. Being familiar with the guys he’s out there with. That’s going to dramatically help him also.”

One of the main knocks on Manuel last season was his inefficiency with deep passes. He either passed them up too often or threw inaccurate deep balls when he did take a shot. Hackett insists that dumping the ball and taking what’s given is only going to further help Manuel. “That’s what quarterbacks do — take what they’re given. He’s going to understand his reads and be able to focus on the details. He can slowly take what’s given.”

While Bills fans won’t rest easy until they’ve seen a few tight spirals from Manuel in meaningful game day action, it’s hard to deny the enthusiasm of Hackett. He believes his team has their guy and that their guy is ready to make a leap. Ready or not, the 2014 Buffalo Bills are E.J. Manuel’s team. If his coach is any indication, it could be a good one for all parties involved.

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Tags: Buffalo Bills EJ Manuel

  • Paul Kawalerski

    Although I do see the upside of taking what the defense gives and understand the security of this approach; I also think Manuel needs to take charge of a game and push the defenses into uncomfortable positions. Yes Tom Brady, for example, takes what the defense gives him with the short game. But, he also knows how to thread the needle and make the defense pay with his intermediate passes and long balls. Relying on short dump-offs is going to get old real quick in this league. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that if your QB can’t make the longer passes then just stack the box and you’re going to see 3-and-outs the majority of the time. And with this kind of result with a hurry-up offense, your defense is going to get winded and be ineffective by the 3rd Qtr. Manuel needs to become an all purpose QB, not just a dump-off artist. A short, immediate, long, and run threat. After all, isn’t that why we drafted him?