The Bills ran a fast-paced offense last year under first-year coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and first-year quarterback EJ Manuel. But with a year under their belts, the Bills plan to be faster in 2014.
Hackett said the Bills’ offense struggled when Manuel got hurt last year, but this year everyone is ready to be the fastest offense in the league.
“We look back at last year, and those first four games when EJ had a lot of run going on, it was awesome,” Hackett said, via the Buffalo News. “We were really rolling. It’s funny. You look back on it and as the season went on, with the changes we had at that position, it slowed down. The better we get, the more we have of the understanding of the offense, the faster we can go.”
The Bills ran 69.8 plays a game last year, behind only the Broncos and Patriots, two teams that have masters of the no-huddle offense at quarterback in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Manuel may have a long way to go before he’s that kind of quarterback, but Hackett says Manuel has made huge strides.
“It’s so much more fun now,” Hackett said. “Not having him as a first-year guy where you sit there and say a word to him and he goes, ‘What is that? OK, that’s what it is, now I go run that.’ Now it comes natural to him, and he can go play football. He can understand what’s happening to him, he can understand where he should go with the ball. So his advancement is growing rapidly, just even in the first couple days of practice.”
These Bills are far removed from the fast-paced offense of the Jim Kelly years, but if Manuel can develop within Hackett’s offense, the Bills may finally have an offense that can get them back to the playoffs.