Seumalo Turns the Page After Tough Week
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Isaac Seumalo understands what went down in Atlanta on Sunday night.
"It wasn’t my best game," the Eagles starting left guard acknowledged after practice on Friday. "I take ownership of that. I didn’t play well and the Falcons played well. I wasn’t happy about it."
The last time Seumalo played that poorly was Week 2 of the 2017 season in Kansas City and he was quickly benched, first for Chance Warmack and ultimately for Stefen Wisniewski.
Things are different this time around, however, even though Seumalo graded out as the worst offensive linemen in the entire NFL in Week 2, according to ProFootballFocus.com after allowing eight pressures -- six hurries and two sacks -- against the Falcons' interior, which includes one of the best defensive tackles in football in Grady Jarrett.
"In my head, I've moved on," Seumalo said. "I'm always excited to go play on Sundays and just have fun and just kind of let loose."
But what does Seumalo's head coach think?
“It’s not time,” Pederson said when asked about potentially benching Seumalo on Friday. "Here's what I know: Everybody's going to have a bad game, right? One game does not decide somebody's season. Am I supposed to bench Nelly [WR Nelson Agholor] for dropping a pass or [TE] Zach Ertz for not getting a first down? You know what I'm saying? You're not going to do that. It's not going to define Isaac. It's not going to define our season."
For Pederson, an outlier is just that and only a sustained stretch of poor play would have him re-visiting the decision to stay the course with Seumalo, who happens to be on the line which features four others who have either been named to the Pro Bowl or earned All-Pro honors.
"If you go back to my first year with Nelly, for instance, it was cumulative," Pederson said of that 2016 benching. "It was over multiple weeks, and just to separate him at that time and how he's recovered and bounced back from that. So it's definitely -- for me, it would have to be a repetitive thing or an injury thing. But in this case, I have so much trust and ability and skill in Isaac, not at all [is a benching being considered].
Seumalo welcomed the vote of confidence but remains his own harshest critic.
"Anytime your head coach says that you feel good about yourself," Seumalo explained. "But at the same time I'm always going to be the harshest critic and always know where I'm at personally regardless of what good or bad anybody else says. I feel good and confident."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen