After a potentially-career-ending heart condition in 2011, Marcus Easley didn't get the opportunity to see the field. In 2012 he signed on to the practice squad a day after being cut.
The third time, or in this case season, is the charm for Easley. The Bills have kept Easley on the roster.
Easley had a solid preseason, catching 12 passes for a total of 224 yards. He was the Bills' leading receiver against Indianapolis, catching seven balls for 94 yards. Against the Lions, he grabbed two for 84 yards including a 79-yard score from quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.
"It's not something really I focus on," Easley said. "I just play my game and as far as how that all plays out, you know, whoever the coaches feel is best for this team, that's who they'll pick. I just play my game and hope for the best when it's all said and done."
Easley is also on kick return. Last year he took a kick return 100 yards against the Lions the day prior to being cut.
"The more you can do, the more you know, the better for you," he said. "Just want to put yourself in the best situation, make a good impression on the coaches and hopefully they'll believe in you."
In 2011, Easley made the 53-man roster only to be placed on IR after being diagnosed with a heart ailment in September. At the time, he was considered by many to be the number two receiver on the team. Easley said he wants to make this season different from 2011.
"Every year is a different mindset, especially with the way the season before played out," Easley said. "After they drafted two receivers, you understood what was at stake now. They're coming in ready to play and I'm just trying to make a case for myself."
There were eight wide receivers on the roster when the Bills played the Lions in the preseason finale. Easley said he wasn't focusing on the competition around him but was instead looking to have his best season yet.
Following training camp, Easley thought he could still do more. He said he was working closely with coaches to help improve in his progress to that point.
"I've done what I had to do. Everyone who played tonight played all through training camp and did everything they could," Easley said.
Head coach Doug Marrone has been paying attention to Easley's production. He complimented him on his performance against the Lions following the game.
"That's the one thing I've admired about Marcus. Marcus has really done a lot of good things in camp," Marrone said. "We missed a slant on a fourth down, which is a big play, but I give him credit. He comes back and makes a big play on the go for the touchdown. That's what you're looking for in players. When adversity hits and you don't make a play what do you do? You know you have to come back and make one and he did."
Easley's score against the Lions was executed flawlessly. He dropped a pass on fourth and two the drive prior. This time, Easley hauled in Lewis' pass on the right sideline after separating from coverage. He broke a tackle and ran into the end zone for the touchdown. He said Lewis threw him a beautiful pass and from there it was just a footrace.
"He played off and it was a slant and go," Easley said. "I just took my time breaking the slant, seeing him take a step or two and just took up. Thad put the ball right where it needed to be."
And the production Easley had provided in the preseason has him right where he wanted to be since the time he was drafted. On Buffalo's final roster.