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Bills notebook: Hackett feels need for even more speed

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett wants his offense to go faster.

The Bills have run plays every 21.8 seconds if you divide their time of possession by their number of plays through two games. That’s fastest in the league, ahead of Denver (23.2 seconds) and Philadelphia (23.3), according to ESPN.

Good, but not good enough, Hackett said.

“It doesn’t matter what the situation, I want to go fast,” he said. “We’ve had some times where we could have been much faster, so we’re not even close to where we want to be. My goal is to get it under 20. That’d be awesome.”

“I’m here to score points,” Hackett said. “We’re here to score more touchdowns, that’s our sole, 100 percent focus.”

Hackett said Bills great Jim Kelly advised him long ago that if he was going to adopt the no-huddle style he should be “all in.”

“If you’re talking about the old Buffalo Bills,” Hackett said, referring to the Kelly era, “it was always go as fast as you possibly can. Never take a breath. That’s my philosophy.”

Hackett admits that it’s critical that the offensive players be on the same page. He doesn’t want fast and disorganized.

“For me I always want to go faster, but it’s all predicated on the guys,” he said. “You don’t want to sacrifice being efficient. If they need to slow it down because of whatever it is, I have to let them do it. We’re only two games young into this tempo. But I hope it gets faster.”

What if the Bills have a lead in the fourth quarter? What if it’s the end of the first half and it would be good to keep the ball away from an explosive opponent? What if they’re up by 30?

“That’s on the head coach,” Hackett said. “Everybody’s going to know when we go slow and huddle up, it’s going to be because the head coach told Coach Hackett to slow down.”

It should be noted that determining the pace of the offense by dividing the possession time by the plays is not an exact measure of pace. Incompletions stop the clock, so inefficiency can actually lower the average using that formula.

Hackett also said he does not keep track of the pace of the offense nor have anyone on staff recording the time left on the play clock when the ball is snapped.


Marrone said safety Jairus Byrd and guard Doug Legursky both will be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

That’s an upgrade since last week. Byrd was doubtful heading into the game against Carolina.

Marrone was careful to make clear Byrd’s availability is uncertain due to the sore foot that has kept him out the first two games.

“What I don’t want to do is give any misreadings on how it may go,” Marrone said. “We all understand it’s a condition that he’s working extremely hard to get better on. And it is getting better. It’s always going to be tough for me, because I think it’s going to be one of those points where he says I’m ready to go and he’s going to go. So I don’t want to misinterpret where he’s at. ... There is progress.”

Legursky is coming back from a sprained knee suffered in the exhibition finale three weeks ago. The guess is he’s on the doubtful side of questionable.

Meanwhile, rookie place-kicker Dustin Hopkins remains out due to a strained groin. Dan Carpenter will kick for the Bills for a third straight game.

The Jets are in good health for the game. Starting linebacker Quinton Coples will make his debut. He has been out almost a month since suffering a hairline fracture of the ankle.


EJ Manuel was voted Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week. It was via a vote of fans.