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Hackett: 'More fun' for Buffalo Bills with EJ Manuel

The Buffalo Bills spent last season flip-flopping through quarterbacks from beginning to end.


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AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

EJ Manuel's injury-riddled rookie campaign propelled Thad Lewis and even Jeff Tuel into a scheme that failed to grow as play-caller Nathaniel Hackett had hoped.

With Manuel now healthy and "growing rapidly" in his second NFL offseason, Hackett told The Buffalo News this week that Buffalo plans to go all-in on its fast-paced, no-huddle attack.

"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. "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."

In 10 starts, Manuel struggled with accuracy and reading defenses while running a stripped-down version of the playbook.

"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."

With one of the league's deepest backfields and a receiving corps that added Mike Williams and highly-touted rookie Sammy Watkins, the Bills don't lack for talent.

The biggest question comes under center, where we remain suspicious of Manuel's game tape. If he can flip the switch in Year 2, Buffalo looms as a dark-horse playoff contender in the AFC East.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" picks the best receiver group in the NFL and goes deep previewing the season with Bucky Brooks.

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