ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Isaiah McKenzie could have went to free agency and seen what other teams were willing to offer but instead he chose to re-sign with the Bills before he hit the open market.
“I was excited about it so it didn’t take much for me to come back. I just really like being here, I really like being on this team, the locker room, the guys, coaching staff, everybody in the organization. I love being here so it wasn’t that hard,” McKenzie said on a zoom call with reporters on Monday.
The Bills signed McKenzie to a two-year deal and he will now start his fifth season in Buffalo. And while it there were rocky moments during the 2021 season, McKenzie says that did not cross his mind when making the decision to stay.
“No, for me it is what it is. That’s what I say, it is what it is, it happened and good or bad it doesn’t matter to me. I’m gonna keep the same personality, the same faith and I believe in this team, I believe in the coaching staff. Whatever happened last year is behind us and this year’s a new year and I plan on going in and helping the team win,” McKenzie explained.
McKenzie lost his job as the primary return man after struggling with fumbles and was even a healthy scratch for two games, at New Orleans on Thanksgiving and the home game against the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
But he bounced back in a big way a few weeks later with a career performance at New England. McKenzie had 11 catches on 12 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. That’s also the game where the Bills regained the lead in the division that helped Buffalo win their second straight AFC East title. Not only were the circumstances of that game important for McKenzie to step up, but also the Bills were without slot receiver Cole Beasley after he tested positive for Covid-19.
Speaking of Beasley, his future is up in the air after requesting and being granted permission to seek a trade. If Beasley is not with the Bills next year, this is yet another opportunity for the team to utilize McKenzie as more than just a “gadget guy” but rather give him a bigger role in the offense. Bringing back McKenzie brings a little more stability in a wide receiver room that could look very different next year, although he does point out some of the continuity they know they’ll have.
“We still have stability, we still have Diggs, myself, we’ve got Gabe Davis and everything like that. I don’t know Bease’s situation but I feel like we still have our guys, we still gotta go out there and play hard and do a lot of good things. From what I saw these last two years we got a chance and with Josh throwing the ball anything can happen,” McKenzie explained.
The Bills will also be working with a new offensive coordinator as Ken Dorsey took over for Brian Daboll once he took the head coaching job with the Giants.
“I feel like Dabs set a good foundation with the offensive side of the ball and with Ken Dorsey being the offensive coordinator I don’t think that’s gonna change. We still got Josh, we still got our guys and we’re probably gonna add more pieces and things like that but we only can get better from here and that’s all we want to do is get better and Ken Dorsey’s gonna do a great job with the offense. I believe in him, I’m pretty sure everybody else believes in him and I don’t think we’re gonna skip a beat,” McKenzie explained.