Inside The Bills

How EJ gained new perspective while sidelined

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2013 – 9:45 am

EJ Manuel missed over two weeks of practice and a pair of preseason games in the process. He feels as though he is caught up at this point heading into the season opener as the starter. It was lost time on the field in a game situation for the rookie quarterback. But instead of just having Manuel stand on the sidelines, Buffalo’s coaching staff came up with a better way of using Manuel’s idle time.

After doing some light passing work in team warm-ups prior to the preseason finale against Detroit, the offensive staff had Manuel sit upstairs in the coaches booth. There he sat next to offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and observed play from above while listening to the process of Hackett calling plays down to offensive quality control coach Jason Vrable.

“I kind of looked at that and we went about it a little differently when he was out,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “He was able to see things from a different perspective. During the game when we didn’t have him on the sideline we had him up in the booth and I think he could see what we’re seeing out there.

“It was interesting because we discussed how this is a pretty good way to train a young guy so he can see what everybody else is seeing so when he’s fed the information he knows what the coach is seeing up there. If you can get the best of both worlds that way playing and maybe get him an opportunity to do that, which not many quarterbacks get, I think that can help in their development.”

The new viewpoint on the game for Manuel left him with an appreciation for the responsibilities of the coaches on game day.

“I think I had the true coach’s perspective,” said Manuel. “You really have no control over what’s going on on the field. Not even being down there. It was tough to watch, especially because we weren’t playing well, we didn’t win the game. That was the hard thing about it. I definitely had the perspective of seeing how Coach Hackett reacts to things up in the box, he stays the same way, the same relaxed guy. He still calls the same good plays. That’s the perspective that I did get from it.”


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