Josh Allen: Isaiah McKenzie is working his tail off

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With receiver Cole Beasley no longer on the team, the Bills have an opening at slot receiver.

Isaiah McKenzie is trying to fill it.

Now in his sixth season, McKenzie said earlier this week that he feels he’s getting open when quarterback Josh Allen needs him to be. In his Thursday press conference, Allen had some pretty high praise for the receiver.

He’s working his tail off and that’s kind of what Isaiah is known for,” Allen said. “He’s going to work hard, he’s going to find a way. But, again, learning the nuances of the slot position and taking the coaching, the leadership and the knowledge that he’s had over the past years of guys in that position — [namely] Cole [Beasley] — trying to take what he was doing on the field and apply it to his game.”

McKenzie has served in several roles for the Bills since the team claimed him off waivers in 2018, including returner. But he’s now taking all his experience and translating it into a bigger role on offense.

“ There’s no denying, his physical attributes, his speed, he’s extremely tough for a little guy. He’s a little muscle hamster,” Allen said. “But, again, he’s determined to help this team win football games — whether that’s at punt returner, kick returner, slot, the gadget guy that he’s kind of been in the role in this offense in the last couple of years. But like you said, that position is up there and he’s taking advantage of it early in camp, had some really nice plays. His intensity’s up, his focus is up. And he’s going out there and continuing to make plays.”

McKenzie caught 20 passes for 178 yards with one touchdown last season. In 2020, he had 30 receptions for 282 yards with five TDs. If McKenzie can effectively replace Beasley in Buffalo’s offense, those numbers should go way up in 2022.

Josh Allen: Isaiah McKenzie is working his tail off originally appeared on Pro Football Talk