ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Familiarity was a key for Doug Marrone as he assembled his staff with the Bills. Several of his assistants were with him at Syracuse University, including offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett. It's a continuity they hope makes for a smooth and successful transition.
"A lot of us come from the same type of foundation on each side, whether it be offense or defense," said Marrone. "Meaning that, there isn't a lot of time. We have to make sure we hit the ground running."
"To be a first time coordinator in the NFL and get all the guys that you wanted as the top priorities," said Hackett. "To be able to get them to come here, it's a dream come true. Because as a coordinator I've worked with all these guys. I know them, they know me."
"Evaluation" was the word of the day among the Bills assistant coaches, as they take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to their thoughts on the Bills current roster.
"I can't judge something that I don't know," said Hackett. "I can only try to look at certain aspects of it. Then once you get in the room with the guys, that's critical because you want to see how you work with them, you want to see how they respond to you."
"It's not about one guy. It's about the room as a collective group," said running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. "To talk about one guy right now would be a little unfair, because I'm still under the watchful eye of evaluating these guys still."
And we'll begin to learn more about what this staff has in store as they learn more about the players at their disposal.