Before the Bills final preseason game, head coach Sean McDermott was asked how many spots on the roster are still up for grabs.
“All of them,” he said with a smile.
Realistically that number is closer to a handful. With so few spots available, players hoping to land a spot on the roster are determined to put their best foot forward Thursday night against the Vikings.
“Anxiety, a little bit,” said wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. “Because I’ve been doing this my whole life, I can’t let a cut day determine how I play.”
It’s common for starters to not even see the field in the final preseason game, but the night is still incredibly valuable for those that do play.
“I just control what I can control, and let everything fall in place,” said defensive end Darryl Johnson. “Go out there, play football and have fun and hope for the best.”
The Bills are 3-0 in the preseason for the first time since 1966. A win and they’d finish undefeated for the first time in the team’s 60-year history. Players know there is pressure involved in any game, but all they can do is push it aside.
“That’s how you break yourself when you put too much pressure on yourself,” said wide receiver Duke Williams. “It’s just another game, it’s just football. I’m going to go out there and play my game, try not to do too much and control what I can. Make plays when the ball comes my way and make them feel me in the run game.”
With established starters throughout the roster, the positions still up for grabs on the Bills likely comes down to offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, and wide receiver.
“It’s the NFL, everybody in this room is under pressure, but it’s more about doing your job,” said guard Wyatt Teller. “All I can worry about is what Wyatt Teller is doing. I can’t worry about what other people are doing, whatever coach is calling, whatever, it doesn’t matter.”
One of the staples of the preseason is guessing who will and who won’t make the Bills final roster. Ray-Ray McCloud was asked if he follows those projections.
“Nah, I know who I am,” said McCloud. “God is going to put me where he wants me.”
Whatever He thinks, the Bills have to cut down from 91 players to 53 by 4:00 on Saturday.