Inside The Bills

EJ’s absence in preseason an advantage?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2013 – 10:31 am

There’s little doubt that Bills head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett would’ve preferred to see EJ Manuel get as much work as possible in the preseason. His knee injury did not allow for that to happen as he missed each of the final two preseason games. But there could be a hidden advantage that Manuel’s lack of field time provides the Bills heading into their season opener against New England.

While there’s little doubt the Patriots have done their homework on Nathaniel Hackett’s offense and play calling tendencies, there is limited preseason game tape of Manuel running it. Essentially he played a total 61 snaps in the preseason. That’s why New England head coach Bill Belichick admitted there will be a bit of a feeling out process for him and his defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on Sunday.

“To be honest with you, there isn’t a ton of Buffalo film on either one of them,” said Belichick of Manuel and backup Jeff Tuel. “We saw them play in college and scouted them both coming out there, but that doesn’t really mean as much as what they do in this offense and how they do it. There’s not a whole lot of film on either guy.

“We’ll just have to go on what we’ve got and again, be ready once we really see, which is true of a lot of rookie players. Even though you watch them on film, once you actually see them in person and get on the field with them, sometimes they look a little different than what they look like on film. There’s always that whole element of it. I think in this case, we’ll go on what we have but that’s not a whole lot.”

 


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