When Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone hired Jim Hostler under the ambiguous title of Senior Offensive Assistant, it was not immediately clear what the role of the new coach would be, or how it would overlap with the duties of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterbacks coach Todd Downing. Marrone attempted to clarify Hostler's role earlier this week, when five new Bills assistant coaches met with reporters for the first time.
"Here’s someone who’s always working ahead for us, a day ahead, schematically during the year," Marrone said via The Buffalo News).
Marrone likened the situation to the 2006 New Orleans Saints coaching staff. There, Marrone was a first-year offensive coordinator (though head coach Sean Payton called plays on game days). Pete Carmichael, Jr. (Marrone's replacement as the Saints' offensive coordinator, where he still serves) served as the quarterbacks coach, while John Morton (now the receivers coach for the San Francisco 49ers, following a four-year run in the same role at USC) worked ahead, like Hostler will, in the Saints' passing game under the title of Offensive Assistant Coach.
Hostler took a stab at describing the kind of advance work he'll be doing for the offense, and how it will affect the day-to-day of Hackett in his role as game planner and play caller.
"It’s the ability to be ahead of Nathaniel, give him a chance to really prepare for games," Hostler said. "When he gets to the game-planning aspect of it, already having a foundation of what the opponent does. Here’s what our base stuff might be, and give him a little bit of a foresight into what’s already there, instead of him having to work all that out by himself week to week. That’ll take some pressure off him and give him more freedom at the end of the week to think about the game plan and not worry about what’s going to go on with the next plan."
We've already discussed how the Bills have added these coaches to aid the development of quarterback EJ Manuel, but it's sounding a lot like the moves will make life easier for Hackett, as well.