Isaiah McKenzie leading the race to the Bills punt returner job

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (19) runs with the ball on a punt return during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) —  With All-Pro return man Andre Roberts in Houston, there’s an open competition in camp to take his job, and special teams coordinator Heath Farwell is putting Isaiah McKenzie in the “driver’s seat”.

“He’s in that number one spot right now, he had a great return last season,” said Farwell. “We’ve seen him in the past doing it and there’s nothing that shows anything different now.”

There has only been growth in McKenzie’s confidence and mentality to pair with his athletic talent.

“I had the ability, I just didn’t know when to do certain things and when not to do certain things,” said McKenzie. “Now I’m up to speed, I know every part of the game, every situation. Coaches are teaching me and I’m still learning but I feel a lot more confident than I did a few years ago.”

McKenzie’s breakout game last year was in Week 17 against Miami, scoring three touchdowns. He made the most of his opportunity with Cole Beasley out, and Stefon Diggs resting in the second half by scoring two receiving TDs and returning a punt 84 yards for the score.

That legendary punt return touchdown has become a bit of a joke in the Bills locker room, since that punt came from new Bills punter Matt Haack. McKenzie calls Haack his “son” now and will not get rid of the nickname until he returns another punt for a score off of someone else.

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