Play 1: @ Mississippi State, 3rd quarter, 3:20 remaining, 3rd & 1
What the offense is running: Play-action out of I-form with a two-man route consisting of the x-receiver running a skinny post, and the tight end running a deep out.
What the defense is running: Cover 1 with a robber.
What Isabella is tasked to do: Run a skinny post and burn the defense.
What happens: Isabella ran the skinny post and burned the defense. His motion inside combined with the quick snap confused the defense and made the cornerback back up into off-man. Isabella then creates separation and forces the cornerback into less than ideal leverage.
Notice that Isabella shifts his left foot and hips to the outside of the cornerback. That shift forces the corner to move slightly turn his hips outside; what he doesn’t prepare for is that Isabella can turn on a dime, which he does here. Isabella’s outside to inside movement then creates all the leverage he needs inside to leave the defense in the dust.
The cornerback can’t keep up with Isabella’s speed and foot quickness, and it makes him burnt toast. Although Johnathan Abram, a first-round pick, has a 4.45-second 40-yard-dash time on his resume and is in a good position, he too can’t keep up with Isabella. If the quarterback didn’t underthrow the ball, it would’ve been a touchdown.
- Isabella is a cheat code. His ability to create separation is incredible in this play. The foot quickness that can turn on a dime combined with his speed make him a genuine deep threat.
- He isn’t Danny Amendola, Wes Welker, or Julian Edelman, and this clip continues to prove that. If anything, he’s closer to a T.Y. Hilton or Brandin Cooks. His speed along with his ball tracking means he will stretch the field vertically more than he will horizontally.
- His foot speed is fantastic, but that’s also excellent vertical route-running. Isabella has the nuances of route-running down, and that includes the ability to create favorable leverage. That shows just here as Isabella’s calculated steps do just that. This means he won’t be regulated to just the slot.