WESTFIELD, Ind. – After spending the last five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie has shown that he is settling in nicely with the Colts.
McKenzie signed with the team back in March on a one-year deal and is a contender to be the team's Week 1 starting slot receiver and punt returner.
He is coming off a career year, where he caught 42 passes for 423 yards and four touchdowns.
Confident that he can put up those types of numbers again, if not better, McKenzie said that he understands that with new quarterbacks throwing him the ball, there is bound to be a bit of an adjustment period.
"It doesn't take too long [to adjust]," McKenzie said. "This summer, we came together, threw the ball a little bit. I talked to them and they talked to me saying, 'Hey, I'm going to throw the ball this way.' or 'Hey, you should throw the ball this way when I run this route.' We got a good understanding. It'll probably take a couple more days or so, but we'll get to it. For right now, it's been going well."
One way McKenzie has been working to lessen the learning curve has been by getting well acquainted with the playbook.
"Buffalo was very different," McKenzie said. "We ran a lot of spread and threw the ball a lot. Here, we kind of try to be balanced and things like that. But for the most part, I'm getting adjusted to the playbook, the quarterbacks and the offense. It's gonna take time, but I'm learning and so far, I've been having a great time."
McKenzie has gotten to see the offense up close and personal during training camp, where head coach Shane Steichen's fast-paced practices have forced McKenzie to be quick on his feet (both literally and figuratively).
"I'm kind of used to a fast-paced offense," McKenzie said. "Just going from the next play to the next play. So, that doesn't bother me. It's just different terminologies, different words and just hearing because sometimes I hear a word and revert back to my old playbook in Buffalo because I was there for there five and a half years. So for me, it's like, 'Okay, I gotta change terminology in my head, but it's still the same concepts."
Even with all the changes that McKenzie has had to get used to over the past several months, similarities can still be found between his former quarterback Josh Allen and Colts' rookie Anthony Richardson.
"[He has] a big body and a strong arm as well," McKenzie said. "These past few days, he's been awesome. Throwing the ball deep, throwing the ball short, hitting touch passes – he's doing everything well. And I hope he continues to keep doing that as his career goes on. I've seen the same thing with Josh. Big, strong arm, can throw the ball and make plays with his feet. And I'm just happy to see him grow."