Cardinals’ WR Andy Isabella sets bar high for rookie season
A new-look offense means a different skill set of players are needed.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has already brought in guys that fit his offensive scheme.
One of those acquisitions was Andy Isabella, the No. 62 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Isabella made an appearance on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf Show on Wednesday to discuss what he has to do to get better at the next level.
“I need to work on my play speed and define my routes more and stuff like that,” Isabella said.
“Definitely just taking it in day-by-day and trying to get all the knowledge I can from the older guys and learn from what they have to teach me.
“Just getting off the ball fast and pushing defenders off their leverage when you’re running a stop route instead of just [running fast on a go route], not counting your steps and just playing fast.”
Isabella has received a lot of help from the coaching staff to improve his weaknesses.
“Our coaches are great,” Isabella said.
“They’re great guys. They’re very energetic. They’ve taught me a lot. One of my weakest points is maybe beating the press or having a plan. They’ve definitely given me a plan for every situation so I think that’s helped me so far.”
The 5-foot-9 receiver ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL combine prior to being selected by the Cardinals. That caliber of speed is exactly what Kingsbury will be looking to utilize in his first year at the helm.
However, Isabella wasn’t thrilled with his 40-yard dash time.
“I always think I can do better,” Isabella said. “I’m always looking how I can do better. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t particularly happy either.”
The rookie wide receiver is also a grinder. He’s a first one in, last one out type of player.
“I usually get here at like 6 a.m., eat breakfast, change, study the plays, maybe roll out and head into the meeting room around 7:40.”
But Kingsbury has said that he sees his No. 62 overall pick as more than just a slot receiver.
Isabella had success as an outside receiver in his final year at UMass, racking up 1,698 yards on 102 receptions, 13 of which resulted in a touchdown.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com ranked Isabella first out of the top-five rookie wide receivers to have the most production in 2019.
He projects that Isabella will have 58 receptions for 696 yards and three scores.
“I like when people set the bar high. That pushes me even more. We’ll see. I’m still picking things up and hopefully I’ll get a decent shot here this year.”