Roster battles heat up as regular season approaches


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s the final week of the preseason and one last chance for players to show Sean McDermott and his staff they belong on the final roster.

The head coach telling reporters determining who makes the team is always a difficult decision.

 “Going into year three, that’s what you want. You want tougher decisions this time this year, then it was last year at this time or the first year at this time,” McDermott said.  “So, if those decisions become tougher then that’s what we want. That’s what Brandon and I both want and that’s a sign that our roster, the quality of our roster is improving across the board.”

The most drastic changes and competition are on offense. McDermott acknowledged there are challenges in evaluating the offensive line due to the injuries throughout the preseason. At Wide receiver, with the additions of Cole Beasley and John Brown, the battle to lock up positions on the outside won’t be easy — especially considering the versatility they provide.

“I think they’ve got a lot to offer and you saw even you know, Duke has showed up, some other guys Ray-Ray and Zay come up with a big play down the field so, I think the competition level is high and intense and that’s a good thing for us.”

“I can’t even describe how stressful it is,” added wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.  “I don’t think about it as much. Other people think about it because they’re in the mix. I feel like I’ve done enough.  Not enough but I’ve done my job with the opportunities I’ve gotten and I did a pretty good job with them, so, now, it’s just up to the guys upstairs.”

Sean McDermott seems to always use the phrase ‘iron sharpens iron’ when it comes to competition.  Duke Williams, who is trying to make the leap from the CFL to the NFL, has come on strong late in the preseason and is in the mix a final roster spot.

“Iron sharpens iron, so we find ways to get better,” said Williams.  “You know, everybody is honest, and everyone sees everyone eat.   When one eat, we all eat.  So, at the end of the day it’s a brotherhood for us.  It’s going to be bigger than football one day.  Some of the guys I meet now, I’m sure I’m going to know them the rest of my life. I’m just trying to get to know those guys and build a bond with them.

The Bills’ preseason finale is Thursday against the Vikings. The team them has until 4:00 on Saturday to trim the roster down to 53.

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