Buffalo Bills: Updating key battles after the start of training camp

Buffalo Bills Training Camp
Buffalo Bills Training Camp / Joshua Bessex/GettyImages
3 of 4

2.) Kick Returner

Special teams has been an important factor for McDermott in his coaching tenure in Buffalo. Making sure that the third phase of the game is not ignored. There was some speculation about what kick returning could look like for the Bills this season.

Before Nyheim Hines tore his ACL, he and Deonte Harty may have competed for kick returning duties. However, with Hines out for the season, Harty may have a better chance to see the field this season. Although, a new name has been put in the mix for kick returner.

Bills’ special teams coordinator Matthew Smiley told the media that both Harty and wide receiver Khalil Shakir will compete for the return job, according to Ajay Cybulski. Smiley went on to say that both Harty and Skakir have experience as a kick returner in which Harty had a great season on special teams in 2019 (26 yards per kick return and just under 10 yards per punt return). When Shakir was at Boise State, he averaged 23 yards on kickoff returns in three out of four seasons on special teams. 

With the recent signing of Andy Isabella, this could be an extra mix to the kick returner competition, Isabella provides 4.31 speed which can open up the field if Isabella breaks free from the coverage.