JACKSONVILLE, FL - JULY 28: Kassim Osgood #81 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs a route against Rod Issac #26 during training camp at Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields on July 28, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted cornerback Rod Issac out of Middle Tennessee State in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Most believed Issac was the consummate nickel cornerback for the NFL, and it was believed he would push William Middleton for that role. After the injury to back up safety Terrell Whitehead, I had heard Issac was beginning to take reps at the safety position in Whitehead's place. It was also mentioned on the "Jaguars This Week" radio show last night. So, I asked some questions.
The Jaguars are in fact giving Rod Issac a look at the free safety position, not for a starting role obviously, but for certain packages. Issac is a physical cornerback who was somewhat of a hitter for the position at MTSU, and is a solid open field tackler. The team feels like he's a "run and hit" guy and want to test him out a bit at the position to get him on the field. The team feels like his ability to play the run and read and react will suit him well for the position.
Issac is unlikely to play safety against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, as the starters will typically play deep into the 3rd quarter, but in the fourth preseason game it's expected to see Issac get quite a bit of work at the safety position.
I'm told Issac is excited about learning the position and is willing to play nickel, dime, safety, or whatever the Jaguars need him to do on the field.