Inside The Bills

Moving Hackett helps Marrone too

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2013 – 4:30 pm

Much was made about how moving offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to the sideline for Sunday’s game helped EJ Manuel. The results were difficult to argue with Manuel completing over 70 percent of his passes and putting up his highest passer rating of the season (121.9). But moving Hackett downstairs also benefited Buffalo’s head coach.

Marrone and Hackett work a lot together during the week when it comes to putting together and then tweaking the offensive game plan. It’s evident that they’d like to continue that dialogue during the game as well, but when Hackett was up in the box his focus had to be on delivering the next play call down to offensive quality control coach Jason Vrabel, who then radioed it in to Manuel. There was not time for head coach to coordinator communication or if so, very little. That’s not the case anymore.

“For me it’s a lot easier to communicate with Nathaniel when he’s right next to me,” said Marrone.

Naturally the improved communication between Hackett and the rookie quarterback was obvious.

“I think it’s much easier the communication between him and EJ.  They communicate face to face all the time during the week. And then game day, it was separate. For us, it’s something that worked and we thought it was going to be beneficial to the quarterback for those reasons and obviously we’re not going to change it.”

Marrone admitted that a coordinator can track how a defense is playing against him better from upstairs over the course of a game, but those duties now fall to Vrabel, who will serve as Hackett’s eyes in the sky. The greater reward was having their quarterback play more effectively and that was the end result Sunday in a much needed victory.

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