Play 3: @ Georgia, 3rd quarter, 6:58 remaining, 2nd & 17
What the offense is running: Shotgun set, Isabella runs a corner route, other receiver runs a deep in route. H-back is the checkdown in the backfield.
What the defense is running: Cover 2 man coverage with press against Isabella.
What Andy Isabella is tasked to do: Win a corner route versus press coverage.
What happens: Here is what we’ve been waiting for; Isabella tasked with press coverage, and winning handily. Before getting into the route and how he ran it, it’s worth noting that the cornerback defending him is 6-foot-2 — a five-inch height difference.
Notice how Isabella wins this battle. He shifts outside, which baits the cornerback there, then immediately cuts back inside with an explosive step off his back step. He’s working in to get out. Although the cornerback is doing a good job keeping him inside, it doesn’t last very long.
Instead of using his feet to shift back out, he uses his hands and sort of does a swim move. This is extremely smart route-running. The cornerback is turning in, meaning his hips are too; Isabella takes advantage and switches back in. If the quarterback doesn’t wait far too long to make this pass, Isabella would’ve gotten more yards as that swim move gets him wide open.
- To make up for his lack of height and length, Isabella has to do the little things well in order to get himself open. Luckily, he’s pretty good at that. He’s shown that he knows how to use his quick feet correctly to exploit defenders’ movements. These types of things translate to the NFL.
- His quarterback made the cornerback look better than he actually is. He simply waited too long to make the throw. Awful timing. With that being said, it should be interesting to see how Isabella does with Murray; a quarterback that possesses excellent field awareness and timing.
- Ball control. It’s one of the little things, but for a receiver that will likely see a lot of dink-and-dunk passes thrown his way, Isabella will need to hold onto the ball well. I love how he finishes this play holding it tightly to his body and not letting the defender who is trying to slip it get close. It’s also a tough way to finish a play.