clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills' Nathaniel Hackett, EJ Manuel working on footwork, accuracy

New, comments

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is already hard at work refining EJ Manuel's mechanics - and he may wait as long as possible before putting Manuel into the starting lineup.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

With a massive front office overhaul now completed and OTAs set to resume next week, Buffalo Bills conversation will likely focus predominantly on one topic over the next several weeks: how quickly will rookie E.J. Manuel rise to the top of the team's quarterback depth chart?

Gil Brandt of NFL.com provided some insight on that front earlier this week. The former Dallas Cowboys personnel man knows Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett - having worked with his father, Paul Hackett, while in Dallas - and wrote on Wednesday about the younger Hackett's feelings on rookie quarterbacks.

"I should say that Hackett thinks the longer a young quarterback is able to sit and learn in the early going, the better off he'll ultimately be," Brandt writes.

Brandt also writes that Hackett - who doubles as the Bills' quarterbacks coach - is working with Manuel on his footwork and the way he holds the football in an attempt to improve his accuracy. Hackett did praise Manuel's ability to retain the playbook and his presence, calling him a "dynamic person," per Brandt.

Whether or not Manuel plays right out of the gate will not be Hackett's decision, but clearly his opinion on the matter will carry heavy weight. Given that the team is actively working to refine elements of Manuel's game - and add the presence of two veteran quarterbacks in Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson with plenty of game experience - it wouldn't at all be surprising to see Manuel open camp, and then the regular season, behind a veteran or two on the depth chart.

Still, it's also far more likely than not that we'll see Manuel in regular season action at some point in his rookie season.