Seumalo is Ready to Step in at LG
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - From the day the Eagles drafted Isaac Seumalo the organization raved about his versatility.
And now that he has arrived in the starting lineup at left guard, it's ironic that's the one position that the Oregon State product didn't play in Corvallis.
Seumalo did, however, get his feet wet at the position during his rookie season in Philadelphia, one in which saw the athletic 6-foot-4, 300-pounder get starts at three different positions, LG, right guard and right tackle while also seeing time as an extra blocker in jumbo formations.
"When you have to focus on multiple things, it takes more time," the second-year player admitted to 973espn.com on Tuesday. "When you can focus on one thing, there is less thinking, (Playing one position) is easier in that aspect."
If you rewind 365 days the original plan was also left guard when Seumalo arrived in Philadelphia as the team's third-round pick, No. 79 overall. The hope was that Seumalo would push for the starting job in between Jason Kelce and Jason Peters but a pair of roadblocks slowed the trajectory.
First, Seumalo played in the PAC-12 in college and the quarters system used out west meant that Seumalo missed most of the Eagles' offseason work, appearing in rookie camp and then returning to Oregon State until training camp, the same problem current rookies Sidney Jones and Elijah Qualls are facing as University of Washington products.
Already behind the 8-ball, Seumalo then suffered a pec injury in training camp and veteran Allen Barbre quickly took hold of the LG spot by playing well.
This time around Seumalo is here for OTAs and has been inserted as the starting LG with Barbre dealing with a calf injury.
"It's way better," Seumalo admitted about being able to participate. “To me, (practicing with the ones is) not different than being with the twos or the threes. You go out there and have a job to do."
It is different, though, and more is expected of Seumalo this time around. Even when Barbre is back up to speed, the hope is that Seumalo seizes the starting gig so the versatile Barbre can dress as the gameday swing tackle behind Peters and right tackle Lane Johnson.
It's only May but Seumalo believes the comfort of having already been through one NFL season and understanding what to expect for the second will help fulfill those expectations.
"You get more comfortable and things get easier," he said. "That's with any job. You get into a routine and understand what you need to do to get ready. What you have to work on."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen