Reich Declares Isaac Seumalo the Starter at LG
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Doug Pederson demurred earlier in the week but Frank Reich was far more emphatic, Issac Seumalo is the Eagles' starting left guard.
"Isaac is the starter and then it’s just competition from there," the offensive coordinator said after the final practice of training camp before the veterans report. "That’s the great thing about training camp and this business. It’s so competitive, that’s what guys love about it. That is what we love about it. It will play itself out in camp.”
That seemed to leave the door ajar at least for incumbent starter Allen Barbre but it's clear that the Eagles want Seumalo, a second-year player, to seize the job, something that became virtually set in stone when Barbre was released in the afternoon.
"Allen Barbre is a pro’s pro,” Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman said in a statement. "Not only did he help the team with his solid play as a starter at left guard, but his ability to step up and play multiple positions helped us battle through some difficult situations. We had a conversation yesterday and agreed it made sense to allow him to pursue some other opportunities, but the door is open for him to return here as well."
Seumalo spent most of the spring with the first team although by minicamp Barbre was also mixing back in with the starters on occasions.
It's now Seumalo's job to lose and Reich explained why: "He’s very smart. He understands what he’s being coached,” Reich said. “He understands fronts and defensive schemes and what to anticipate. He’s very athletic, he’s a tough minded player.”
Veterans Stefen Wisniewski and Chance Warmack can also play the position as well, giving Philadelphia impressive depth even without Barbre.
The issue becomes backup tackle where Barbre would have fit in nicely as the game-day swing tackle. Now, second-year man Halapoulivaati Vaitai and veteran Matt Tobin will battle for that job.
DAY 3 CAMP CHATTER:
-Both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles were given the day off so Matt McGloin and undrafted rookie Dane Evans were the quarterbacks for the day.
-Injured rookie cornerback Sidney Jones was staying active at practice by getting a few mental reps right next to his peers.
-Rookie tight end Billy Brown has his best day as an Eagles player, making a number of solid catches, including one from McGloin in heavy traffic at the back on the end zone on red-zone work.
-Defensively, former CFL star Mitchell White had a nice day at the left cornerback spot.
-Mack Hollins continued to work on long snapping, a trait he picked up in high school when his coach said you could have a long NFL career doing that. Hollins never had to perform at LS in a game at North Carolina but it's nice to have a backup comfortable with it as the Eagles found out last season when Jon Dorenbos was injured.
-The veterans were required to report today and many trickled into the locker room with Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz among those holding court at their lockers.
-Many chimed in on the recent Boston University CTE study with Ertz insisting there is no need for tackle football before high school and the 6-foot-6 Johnson joking he may steer his son toward basketball instead.
None reported any regrets of playing football but Jenkins claimed he may quit sooner than he once expected while Graham claimed he might have tried baseball if the research was there when he originally chose his profession.
-Johnson put his target weight at 320 and reported at that weight, down from 327 in the spring.
-Jordan Hicks walked by reporters just as the locker room was closing and he had no cast on his injured hand.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen