While much of the offseason spotlight in Buffalo has been on the expected Year 3 leap from Gabriel Davis and the star quality of Stefon Diggs, Isaiah McKenzie has generated buzz early in training camp.
The 27-year-old has bounced around the NFL since becoming a fifth-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2017. He's mostly been a special teamer and reserve receiver since joining Buffalo midway through the 2018 season.
In Week 16 last year against New England -- the lone game Davis missed -- McKenzie exploded for 11 catches, 125 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the season, he netted just 53 yards on nine catches.
"I feel like now everybody's seeing it and I'm just getting more opportunities after those plays," McKenzie said, via the team's official website. "And I feel like I got to keep doing that and be consistent. But at the same time, you know, it's more noticeable now that I'm in the slot position."
The battle for those slot snaps will heat up during camp with Crowder returning to practice this week.
"I've got to go out there and play my best football and put my best foot forward," McKenzie said. "I still got to continue to stack days and that's what I feel like I'm doing. I just got to keep being consistent and just come out here every day and make plays."
McKenzie brings speed to the Bills' offense that can open up the operation for Josh Allen. Coach Sean McDermott said this week that the most important thing for the receiver is adjusting to a more prominent role.
"The biggest adjustment is going to be the potential of stepping into a full-time role now where teams game plan for you, you have more film out there so it's an adjustment," McDermott said.
So far, McKenzie has taken advantage of his chances in camp. The question is whether he can build on the good start and fend off Crowder as we near the season opener in L.A.
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