ARIZONA CARDINALS

Andy Isabella not worn down by trials, tribulations with Arizona Cardinals

Aug 21, 2022, 10:21 PM | Updated: Aug 22, 2022, 6:26 pm
Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson (23) tries to tackle Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Is...

Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson (23) tries to tackle Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella (17) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals fourth-year wide receiver Andy Isabella hasn’t had the tenure in the Valley that many expected from the second-round pick (No. 62 overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft.

For three seasons in a Cardinals uniform, the 25-year-old out of Massachusetts has garnered a total of 31 receptions for 426 yards and three touchdowns.

But those trials and tribulations aren’t weighing down on the confidence or determination of Isabella, who may be playing his best football yet in Arizona, albeit during the preseason.

“I think it was actually good to maybe not play as much the first three years just to build myself and get better and better,” he told reporters after the Cardinals’ 24-17 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night. “I think this is the best ball I’m playing so hopefully it’s not too late and we’ll see what happens.

“I came a million miles from when I was a rookie,” he added. “I look back and kind of laugh from all the ups and downs and all the trials I’ve been through, growing as a man tenfold and I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything happens for you, not to you so I’m happy for all my trials and all the ups and downs. So right now I’m just excited, this is the best I’m playing and I continue to play well.”

Isabella finished the Week 2 preseason contest tied for the team lead in catches with five, while also having the second-most receiving yards (54) and targets (eight). His longest reception of the game went for 16 yards.

The fourth-year wideout said he played “outstanding” and “balled out” against the Ravens, who have now won a record 22 consecutive preseason games dating back to 2016.

“Just go out there and show what I can do and that’s all I can do,” Isabella said. “Whatever happens, play by play, forget what happened last play and make the next play.”

The former second-round pick will be playing the 2022 season on a contract year after he was given permission to seek a trade early in the offseason.

And with Keim bringing in the likes of Hollywood Brown via trade, drafting Rondale Moore in the second round in 2021 and the emergence of free agent signing Greg Dortch — not to mention five-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins on the roster — Isabella knows it’s a highly competitive and crowded wide receivers room.

But that doesn’t mean head coach Kliff Kingsbury has given up on the speedy wideout just yet.

“I’ve always been a big fan,” Kingsbury said postgame. “Couldn’t be more impressed with how he’s attacked this camp.

“We’ve got a bunch of obviously big-time names at wide receiver and he came in and hasn’t missed one day, runs every route as hard as he can go, takes as many reps as he can take and has really produced at a high level this camp. So I’m excited to see that hard work paying off for him.”

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