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Bills OC Hackett on having more position-coach help in Year Two


Bills head coach Doug Marrone brought more hands on deck on the offensive coaching staff this year.

Jim Hostler, receivers coach in Baltimore the last six years, was hired as senior offensive assistant. Todd Downing, quarterbacks coach in Detroit the previous four years, was hired to coach quarterbacks with the Bills. It all adds up to more help for offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who doubled as the QB coach last season.

That duty proved problematic at times last year when the Bills had a rash of QB injuries and Hackett spent a lot of time getting a new QB up to speed while also installing the game plan.

Hackett was asked today about having Downing as a QB coach:

"It’s awesome.  Both Todd and Hostler, they’ve been great.  It’s one of those things as a coach, just like a player, I want to get better every second.  You bring in guys like that, like Todd that has coached guys like Stafford in the passing game, it’s not only great for EJ but it’s great for me, just to keep on learning and see different ways to do things.  For anybody in any career, you always want to push yourself, and with Todd, it’s one of those things where I can then focus on something else and coach another position.  Today, for example, I got to go out there and work with CJ Spiller. I would have never been able to do that last year and talk with him through a couple things.  Now I have that opportunity to spread around and start talking to other guys and really coordinate, like the big title suggests."


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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.