If Bills quarterback EJ Manuel isn’t ready to start as of Week One, it won’t be because he doesn’t understand the offense.
Manuel told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Saturday that he has figured out the system used by coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
“The funny thing is it’s easier to learn than the offense I had at Florida State,” the 16th overall pick in the draft said, via ESPN.com. “It’s a true West Coast-type progression offense. That’s really what I wanted when I was coming through the pre-draft process. I wanted something that I could just go in and say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, check it down and run it. That’s it, it’s that simple. I love it. . . .
“The learning curve for me is a lot shorter simply because of what I had at Florida State. [The Seminoles' offense is] more complex and a little bit harder to catch on and learn. This offense is very simple. I’ve done a great job with it.”
There’s a certain irony in Nathaniel Hackett running a simple offense, because his father, Paul, was notorious for using complex and convoluted playbooks and systems.
While the Bills don’t seem ready to thrust Manuel into the starting role, it’s hard to justify using a first-round pick on a quarterback and not using him right out of the gates. It will be even harder with Manuel making clear that he has mastered the playbook.