Bills Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett must smile every time he looks down at the roster. Hackett doesn't lack for weapons as he prepares to guide the Bills offense for a second season.
The backfield options include CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown. The receiving corps is extremely deep on paper with rookie phenom Sammy Watkins joined by Mike Williams, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin as the expected top four.
No question there is abundant talent around the quarterback but the man pulling the trigger at that critical position remains a big question mark.
Hackett talked about EJ Manuel during a segment on WGR on Monday and said he is expecting a more confident Manuel in year number two.
"You go into year two, its not a new system anymore. You want him to be able to operate the system, feel comfortable with the system, to start making plays and not thinking about what that play is and how to get the guys lined up" Hackett said. "Now he doesn’t need to think about the stuff anymore. He gets to go out there and just react and play, start looking at the defense and thinking about when he can pull the trigger a little earlier."
Through the first week of training camp, the play of Watkins was the most positive development on the offensive side of the ball.
"I’ve seen a guy that as a rookie has really come in and had great focus and a real desire to be a very good football player" Hackett said. "His ability to compete, his ability to work is just awesome and its really stepping up the whole offense."
It remains to be seen exactly how Hackett will use the speedster from Clemson University. Watkins role in college included a heavy dose of screen plays but Hackett sees the fourth overall pick from this year's draft as a complete receiver.
"He’s one of those guys we’re going to want to put all over the place. Its hard to ignore the fact that he’s a good screen runner. Its hard to ignore the fact that you can toss him the ball and he can run around and stuff but the thing is he’s also a pretty darn good receiver."
You can hear the entire interview with Nathaniel Hackett and hear more about the plans for EJ Manuel as well as Hackett's thoughts on the group of running backs at his disposal:"