Cardinals’ Andy Isabella aided in Bucs releasing CB Vernon Hargreaves
Andy Isabella can now say he played a part in getting somebody released.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut cornerback Vernon Hargreaves on Tuesday, two days after head coach Bruce Arians benched the No. 11 overall pick from 2016 for failing to hustle in a 30-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
The play of concern came in the third quarter on a nickel blitz.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray read it well, threw a quick slant to Isabella, who was uncovered, and then watched as his receiver ran for a 55-yard gain. Hargreaves started the play on the same side of the field as Isabella, and while he first overran the receiver, he didn’t appear to get on his horse when Isabella cut the play back.
“He didn’t look like he was hustling to go make that tackle,” Arians told reporters after the game.
“He was chasing somebody across the field and he wasn’t running fast enough.”
Hargreaves later returned to the game but on a Cardinals 4th-and-5 was called on a key pass interference penalty with 30 seconds left in the game. That gave Arizona 18 yards and a first down.
After being released by Tampa Bay, Hargreaves was picked up by the Houston Texans.
As for Isabella, the rookie has been gameplanned into schemes by the Cardinals starting in Week 3. Whether it’s been jet sweeps or deep routes, defenses have gravitated toward him knowing his elite speed that shined in the pre-draft process.
Early on, like on tight end Maxx Williams’ touchdown against the Falcons in Week 6, he was window dressing.
Isabella remains a role player, but his snaps have steadily increased. Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury has made it clear that’s been earned, and over the last two weeks, Isabella has been involved on two successful explosive plays.
In Week 9 against the San Francisco 49ers, he took an 88-yard catch-and-run in for a score. Against the Bucs, the second-round pick made three catches for 78 yards.
He played a career-high 26 snaps on Sunday, 37% of Arizona’s total offensive snaps.
“You really saw this past week a lot of confidence after the San Francisco game and the huge play he had,” Kingsbury said. “I think he’s starting to understand he can play at this level. He’s got to do things right, but his practice habits have jumped up, his preparation has jumped up and he’s starting to feel like he belongs in this league.”