As rookies and younger players are prone to making mistakes and learning as they go, the same can be said with new management, coaches, and coordinators. So far, new Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley, new Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone as well as new Bills Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett have all made mistakes in their early tenures.
Doug Marrone informed Doug Whaley that they only needed to keep three QB’s on the roster, because Marrone wanted to give Kolb and Manuel more snaps, therefore the team let Taravis Jackson go. That move came back to backfire on the Bills in the preseason, and in Week 5 of the regular season.
During the preseason, the Bills lost QB’s Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel due to injury, leaving undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel as the Bills only healthy QB, so Whaley had to quickly scramble to find replacements. Whaley brought in Matt Leinart off the couch as well as trading for Thaddeus Lewis. In the preseason finale, Leinart looked awful and was quickly shown the door, as Lewis had a decent showing and was put on the practice squad. For the season opener, the Bills were unsure if Manuel would be ready to play against the Patriots and were ready to go with Tuel as their starter. Marrone did not want to put Tuel on the practice squad as he felt another team would come in and grab him from the Bills. Luckily, Manuel was ready to go and played every game all the way through week 5 against the Browns. During the game against the Browns, Manuel got injured and was unable to return bringing Tuel off the bench. In relief of Manuel, Tuel looked awful as he was 8/20 for 80 yards, 0 TD’s and a very costly pick six interception which sealed the game for the Browns. Because of how bad Tuel looked and the longevity of Manuel’s sprained knee, Whaley and Marrone were quickly scrambling again for a QB. Bills management promoted Thad Lewis from the practice squad to the Bills starting QB, while adding Dennis Dixon to the practice squad. Over the next four to six weeks, we’ll see if this move is a solid one, or just a band aid on a gushing wound.
Hackett started the season with the philosophy on offense "live by the no-huddle, die by the no-huddle." That came to bite to the Bills in the butts as it gave Tom Brady and the Patriots more than enough time to mount a comeback and beat the Bills in the final moments of the game. It took Hackett a few games, but we are finally seeing the Bills huddle more when preserving a lead instead of running the up-tempo offense 100% of the time.
So far, the Bills are 2-4, a record which is surprising to others. The Bills had chances to win all of those games, but the aforementioned mistakes proved to be too costly for the team to overcome. It seems the new Bills staff is quickly learning from its mistakes, but how many more mistakes will we see throughout this season and over the next couple of years which could cost the team more victories?