Can Nathaniel Hackett?
In the wake of the three-preseason games that have been played by the Buffalo Bills, many have asked the question as to the direction of the Bills, offensively speaking. Well, to answer that question, one needs not look any further than Nathaniel Hackett. Like a friend hitching ride home, Hackett’s train is hitched to Marrone, in a league that uses its connections more than politicians do. What does it say about the longevity of this relationship?
Nevertheless, if Doug Marrone continues to keep his “friend” as the offensive coordinator of the Bills, and the Bills do not improve offensively over last season, then both Hackett and Marrone might be packing their bags.
Now, I will give Hackett a “pass” for last season. It was his first season at the NFL level, and he changed his position from being in the press box to being on the field, and also had to deal with a revolving door of quarterbacks throughout the season.
He was forced to play Jeff Tuel, when EJ Manuel went down on a shortened week of practice. And for those of you who are curious, when a team plays a Thursday Night game, the snaps all that week are relegated to the starter.
Then, in New Orleans, on the first series, Thad Lewis injures his ribs, and stays in to play the entire game. True toughness indeed, but whatever he did, wasn’t going to make up for the high powered Saints. So, there are plenty of reasons, not excuses, for Nathaniel Hackett and the anemic Buffalo Bills offense.
Transition to 2014: Hackett has some nice, shiny new toys to play with in Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams, and the additions of Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon. Legit 1-2 wide receivers, and depth at the running back position so he can run his fast paced offense, without worrying about running down CJ Spiller or Fred Jackson.
Barring any significant injury, Hackett has been gifted all the tools that one could want in an offense, so now it is up to him to make it work. Now, I am not one to hold the play calling of the offensive coordinator over his head in the preseason. We all know that teams aren’t going to show what they plan on doing in the regular season, but if some of the similarities of last season start to show their face during the 2014 campaign, I cannot place all the blame on EJ Manuel…Hackett is dialing up the x’s and o’s.
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