May 28, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) passes the ball as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Jeff Tuel (7) look on during organized team activities at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills: A Fast Offense Last Year Was Not Good Enough


The EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills ran the majority of their offense in the no-huddle last year, bringing back a glimpse of the K-Gun to Western New York.  They ran a total of 69.8 plays per game last year.  This put them in third place behind only the Patriots and Broncos, who have Brady and Manning at the helm.  Offensively speaking, that is not too bad. 

With basically the same offense in place and with a minimal learning curve to a majority of the offensive players, the Bills are looking to get faster this year.  Does faster equate for productivity.  I some cases yes, but there has to be mastered skill to be productive and fast and are the Bills there yet?  I don’t know yet.

“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.”

With this statement it seems that as EJ Manuel was healthy from week to week, the Bills were progressively getting better.  When Manuel got hurt, the offense slowed down, because of the changes.  Wouldn’t that happen with just about any offense.  First teamers will get accustomed to the play of their starting quarterbacks and vice versa.  There would be an expectation that the minimal practice the back-ups get would result in a different paced and styles offense.  It is just natural.

Last year, a new coordinator and a very young offense needed a learning curve that seemed to go on for the entire season.  With really only the rookies there to learn the offense, more complex plays can be put into place and the terminology is not going to be in question on what should be done when it is asked.

“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.”

The Bills want to get faster and they addressed that need in the draft with Sammy Watkins.  Will the two come together to explode this offensive group this year.  I think it is a good probability that we see fireworks this year.

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Tags: Buffalo Bills EJ Manuel Nathaniel Hackett

  • Paul Kawalerski

    IMO this high speed offense is not a good fit for EJ. For one, one of the knocks on EJ was his slow eyes. He does not seem to be the quickest thinker among active QBs. With that in mind do you really want to put him in a up-tempo offense at a blistering pace. It would seem you need to give EJ some time to process and play things through in his mind rather than hurrying the process.

  • Zachary Alexander

    The fast offense means nothing if the Bills don’t score 7 in the redzone or covert on 3rd down.

  • Zachary Alexander

    I wouldn’t go that far; I felt the offense was so elementary at times a HS football coach could scheme against it and be effective. Manuel was a rookie and played like one, but I’d like to see if Nathaniel Hackett can be effective with his offensive gameplan this year. We made a lot of questionable decisions on 3rd down last year when Stevie, Manuel, and Spiller were out. (Spiller being held back by his ankle more than being out of the game.) Seemed like we didn’t know what we had at receiver with the routes Hogan, Kaufman, and Graham were running.