How Is Isaac Seumalo Dealing With Tough Week, Possible Benching? - NBC 10 Philadelphia

How Is Isaac Seumalo Dealing With Tough Week, Possible Benching?

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    How Is Isaac Seumalo Dealing With Tough Week, Possible Benching?
    CSNPhilly.com
    How is Isaac Seumalo dealing with tough week, possible benching?

    Earlier this week, a couple of his teammates expressed their concerns that Isaac Seumalo's confidence could be killed by his apparent benching. 

    Seumalo isn't worried about that. 

    "No," the second-year offensive lineman said Friday while facing the inside of his locker, exposing just the fluff of his afro.

    It was the first time he spoke to reporters all week. 

    "I'm preparing to play and regardless of what happens, whether I'm starting and playing or not," Seumalo said. "I'm going to be a great teammate. I'm a Philadelphia Eagle first and foremost."

    Head coach Doug Pederson on Friday claimed he hadn't yet made a decision about his starting left guard (see story). Seumalo did his part too, saying he wasn't sure whether or not he would remain the starter this week. He went with the normal line, that he's preparing to start because he always prepares like a starter. 

    But this week during portions of practice open to the media, Chance Warmack has been getting first-team reps at Seumalo's old position and several players in the locker room clearly indicated that there had been a switch. 

    Warmack is in. Seumalo is out. 

    If that is indeed the case, and Pederson benches last year's third-round pick just two games into his second season, is he worried about Seumalo's psyche? 

    "No. I think if that's the decision, then no, I don't," Pederson said. "I think Isaac is a smart guy, and he's sharp, he understands, and we'll be fine."

    Pederson might not be worried about ruining Seumalo's confidence but some of the guys with lockers next to the young lineman, namely Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson, don't seem to share the same sentiment

    Players weren't aware of the apparent switch until they arrived to practice Wednesday morning. That's when Brooks found out, when Warmack lined up between Jason Kelce and Jason Peters. 

    "It's just unfortunate, man, seeing a young guy like that after having a bad game," Brooks said Wednesday. "He's a young player, you don't just want to kill his confidence this early in his career. A bad game, for that to happen, I wish he could work through it. I just wish he had a chance to bounce back."

    On Friday, Seumalo admitted this has been a tough week after struggling against Kansas City and giving up three of his team's six sacks in the loss. 

    "Yeah, but I still don't have to worry about a meal, shelter over my head, clothes on my back," he said. "I always take perspective. I get to talk to my mom and dad. This is something correctable. It's not the end of my world." 

    Talking with his veteran teammates this week has been helpful, he said, although he declined to divulge the specifics of those private conversations. The same goes for his talks with his football coach father. 

    Seumalo also declined to explain his process to get over past struggles. He made it clear this isn't the first time he's been faced with adversity. He took particular umbrage with a question from a reporter, who asked if he's ever struggled in his career. 

    "What did you ask?" Seumalo said. "Did you ask if a football player has ever struggled before?

    "Bro, if you ask that to any football player, nobody's perfect, you know. But how you get back from those defeats and not playing well, that's what people will remember. I promise I'm going to get better. Like I told him, prepare like I'm going to play and know that I'm a really good player. That's about it."

    This time, Seumalo - and his coaches, for that matter - are convinced his struggles are with technique. He'll have a chance to fix them during weeks of practice but it appears he won't get a chance to line up Sundays and prove he's still worthy to play in this league. 

    On Friday, when asked, Seumalo praised Warmack, his likely replacement. He said Warmack is big and strong and there's a reason he was once a first-round pick. While all that is true, there's a reason Warmack was available on a one-year deal this offseason and there's a reason he has never lived up to his high draft status. 

    Presumably, there was also a reason why the Eagles decided to get rid of Allen Barbre in the summer and name Seumalo the starting left guard without an open competition. That hasn't worked out so far. 

    "Being in my second year, I've seen and heard about a lot of things. Nothing surprises me," Seumalo said. "Nothing's going to affect me. I'm going to get ready to play. If I play, I can't wait. If I don't, I can't wait to see how good Chance or [Stefen Wisniewski] or whoever's playing is going to play. There's no drop-off. Those guys are going to play great."