Inside The Bills

Footwork an early focus for EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2013 – 12:44 am

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett undoubtedly has a to-do list for top pick EJ Manuel to get him as ready as possible as soon as possible for the NFL game. At the top of the list on day one of Bills Rookie Minicamp was footwork in the pocket.

Several times Hackett would counsel Manuel on his footwork on his most recent play after the fact. There was one specific instance during 7-on-7 where Hackett saw Manuel hold the ball a second too long before delivering an underneath ball and said, ‘You’re probably sacked on that play.”

But head coach Doug Marrone in general got what he was looking for from Manuel on day one.

“It’s what I expected,” he said. “Again, to work on the footwork and he made some nice throws. What I expected, I didn’t think he’d come in here and be the polished guy that you have. You’re learning a new system. You’re learning new coaches. You’re getting a feel for yourself. I try to look at the players and just say okay, here’s where they are. Here’s how they are on the field. Because I think as a coach, I know I’ve had this problem, if I create expectations in my mind of players that I’ve never coached before, I can find myself getting in trouble. So, I try to go in there open-minded until I get around them and get to know them. But I was very happy.”

“It’s all predicated upon the pass concepts,” said Manuel with respect to the footwork he’s trying to master. “Just pairing the footwork with the passing play. There’s a lot you have to remember, it’s the first day, but I thought overall the whole team did a great job.”


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