Inside The Bills

Hackett sees WR competition differently

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2013 – 9:39 am

While Bills fans are no doubt interested in who the number two receiver opposite Stevie Johnson will be this season, which we examined in our Top 25 questions until training camp, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has a much different perspective.

Hackett’s view is far broader as he only sees five skill position players on the field between the tight ends, receivers and backs. So to ask him about the candidates for the number two receiver role struck him as odd.

“I think when you look at the wide receivers it’s not just the wideouts, it’s a competition for everybody on the team,” Hackett told “It’s who are the best five skill players that we have? It’s my job to take those five best players and put those guys out there a whole bunch and be very multiple with that.

“If it’s a lot of wide receivers then you might have a lot of wide receivers. If it’s more tight ends, more running backs, whichever one dominates and does a better job out on the field that’s who we want out there.

“So I think it comes down to who excels in training camp. So it could be a lot of wideouts. It could be more tight ends, more fullbacks, more halfbacks. We just want the best players out there so I think that will always kind of fluctuate.”

While some might see this as a problem, Hackett sees it as a positive.

“That’s the good thing. It’s really just a competition amongst everybody, not just the guys in that receivers room. It’s everybody on the field. Whoever those best five are, put them out there and line them up all over the place.”

My follow up question was what if there are more tight ends and backs filling those top five skill position roles?

“If there’s a bunch of other guys that are better than the wideouts we’re going to be a lot different looking team than a lot of people thought,” Hackett said. “It all comes down to who are the best five. I think that’s always going to be difficult. We’re lucky because we have a lot of guys there that are competing and competition brings the best out of everybody and that’s all you can ask.”

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