Mile High Sports

McKenzie: ‘There’s doubters every day’, even after spectacular punt-return touchdown

Aug 11, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (16) returns a 78 yard punt return for a touchdown in the second against the Minnesota Vikings quarter at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In the Broncos’ 42-28 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings, there weren’t many players that made the highlight reel, but one of the ones that did needed a highlight-reel play more than almost anyone on the team.

Following a season in which fumbles and questionable decision-making offset his extraordinary speed and agility, Isaiah McKenzie saw young wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton added to the Broncos’ roster and watched River Cracraft and undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay gain ground on him as a returner, to boot.

McKenzie responded on Saturday with an electric, 78-yard punt return for a touchdown that showed off not only his physical gifts, but a newfound patience that may have the Broncos believing in him again.

Afternoon Drive host Les Shapiro spoke to MacKenzie in the locker room after the game. “I’m very happy, and I hope for many more,” McKenzie said. “I want to be here when it comes down to those last preseason games, and I’ve done everything I could to be here… I want to stay here.”

McKenzie talked about his improvement in the offseason, noting that, “It’s all a confidence thing. Coming in each and every day, you need to have confidence, each and every day you have to work.”

“There’s doubters every day. I won’t call them ‘haters’, because they’re not hating; they’re just probably tired of what I did last year – and I’m tired of what I did last year. I want to come out this year and show everybody that I can be the starting punt returner, and I can do my job.”

Click here to listen to the full locker room interview with Isaiah MacKenzie.

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