Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bills vow to make better use of speed at receiver


The Buffalo Bills have nice mix of youth and talent at receiver, but they've yet to find a good, consistent balance within the group.

One asset the Bills undoubtedly need to make better use of moving forward is their speed on the perimeter, and that starts with rookie Marquise Goodwin, who has been on the field for less than 25 percent of the Bills' offensive plays through 14 weeks.

The former track star did miss some time early in the season to a broken hand and has had a few minor ailments since. But while he's been mostly a rotational player when healthy, he's taken advantage of his opportunities.

"I think Marquise Goodwin -- and I talked to coach [offensive coordinator Nathanial] Hackett about this," Bills coach Doug Marrone said Monday, via BuffaloBills.com, "I think we have to get him in there more."

Goodwin is an extremely dangerous burner on the outside and has accounted for three big touchdowns receptions in limited time this season -- a 59-yarder against the Kansas City Chiefs, a 43-yarder against the New York Jets and a 40-yarder against the Cincinnati Bengals.

His presence alone can do wonders in opening up the middle of the field, and Marrone insists that Goodwin, along with fellow speedster T.J. Graham, is capable of more than just straight-line routes up the sideline.

“I think that those two guys are obviously guys that have great speed. We have to find a way to get them involved," Marrone said. "Marquise Goodwin can run intermediate routes. T.J. Graham can run cross field routes so there are ways that we can get them involved, so we have to make sure we look at it."

Marrone did caution that Graham still needs to be more consistent, but the young wideout will certainly get ample opportunity to prove himself over the next few weeks as the Bills finish the season in evaluation mode.

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