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Nathaniel Hackett: "There’s a lot of room for improvement"

Posted Aug 13, 2013

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett talked to the media about how his young quarterbacks performed in their first preseason game and the fortunate problem he has with depth at wide receiver.

Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett

Training Camp — August 13, 2013

Q: What have been your thoughts on Chris Hogan?

A: We call him 7-11. He’s always open. He’s done a really good job. He’s one of those guys, from a quarterbacks standpoint, you know right where he’s going to be. He runs very good routes. He made some great plays today. He’s a guy that definitely opens your eyes. You want him out there. The quarterbacks love when he’s out there.

Q: What were your thoughts about the two quarterbacks in the preseason game?

A: I thought they did okay. I think there’s a lot of room for improvement for both of them. I think when you look at EJ (Manuel), he was very excited. I mean, heck, as a rookie you come in your first game and you’re on the minus two yard line. That’s one of those things where I’m sitting up there going, are you serious? First drive of your career both of us and there he is on the two-yard line. And I thought his demeanor was great out there. He was a little bit fired up I think. You could kind of feel it. But once he settled down and got to play how EJ wants to play, I think you’ve kind of seen him come into his own. And it was really pleasing to see that kind of the stuff earlier didn’t bother him. He just wanted more reps and keep going out there. And I appreciate that from EJ. And then Joe Cool Jeff (Tuel). Heck, he just goes out there and just makes plays. I mean he trusts the reads, he trusts his progressions and it was fun to watch. Both of them had some critical errors that we need to clean up and get better at. But both of them are going to continue to get better. For two rookies going into your first game, I thought they did a really nice job. A lot of room for improvement for both of them.

Q: How do you decide how many wide receivers to keep?

A: I have no clue. That’s a great question. Put them all out there. I mean they’re all competing hard and it’s fun to watch them go out there and play. Today we had some great wide receiver play. And the more competition we have, the better everybody is going to be. We just have to keep pushing them and I think it’ll all get sorted out once we get closer to when we have to make those critical decisions. But right now, I’m just having fun having that many of them out there.

Q: Is it a switch for you to be upstairs during the games? How much different is it up there for you?

A: It’s funny. I’ve gone back and forth on that. I did it some at Syracuse. I really got excited a lot. I was brought here to call plays and that’s the one time those couples hours I am supposed to be calm and relaxed. And I think that when we’re out here at practice, they have to feel that energy. They have to always want to go harder. I always want them to hear me in the back of their minds when they’re out there on the field. But up in the box, I’m there to call the right play at the right time. And I think that I have to be calm, cool and collected and get that in there. That’s what I’m brought here for and I love it. It is hard because you do want to go down there and celebrate and pick them up when bad things happen and get them going. But sometimes you have to pick the right thing to be successful.