Since his disastrous performance in Atlanta on Sept. 15, it has been a quiet couple of weeks for Isaac Seumalo.
Quiet is good.
It means he’s doing his job.
After he gave up six hurries and two sacks to the Falcons in Week 2, Seumalo vowed to learn from his mistakes. He vowed to get better. And he has.
“Every player has a game or two that they don’t feel like they played very well in or they could have done better in,” Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said this week.
“I think Isaac feels that way in that particular game. He could have done some things better. I love the way Isaac responds, though. I love the way he learns from that experience and that time, takes it to the next game. That only made him better. Believe me. Our players have a lot of respect and a lot of confidence in Isaac and his game.”
Unlike in 2017, when he was benched after a similarly bad game in Week 2, the Eagles didn’t bench him this time. Instead, they stuck with their former third-round pick and have watched him play better over the last two weeks.
That’s incredibly good news for the Eagles, who are really counting on Seumalo this year. After Seumalo put together a really good offseason, they were expecting big things. And this year, they don’t have a backup with as much experience as when they had Stefen Wisniewski on the roster. This is Seumalo’s job.
I asked Stoutland if Seumalo would have been able to respond from a terrible game like this just a few years ago and he said he didn’t know, but he knows now.
What does Seumalo think?
That’s something I had to learn,” he continued. “It sucks you have to learn it. You have to go through s----- situations to play better and learn from it, but it’s just kind of the way of the world. If this game was easy, you’d see everybody doing it. It’s one thing to get into the NFL; it’s another to be a really good player. That’s always what I’m striving for, especially playing next to these four other guys.
It’s worth noting that Seumalo is the only player on the Eagles’ offensive line who has never been named to a Pro Bowl team. The other four starting offensive linemen have a combined 15 Pro Bowl selections and five All-Pro selections. That’s a high standard.
Before this season, on the Eagle Eye podcast, we each gave a bold prediction. Mine was that Seumalo would become a Pro Bowler this year. My thinking was that Seumalo had greatly improved, was getting talked up by every player I spoke with (on and off the record) and would be a part of a dynamic offense and a good team. That bold prediction still doesn’t look good right now (I’ll own it), but at least Seumalo hasn’t let one bad game spiral into a bad season.
It’s sort of two-sided. On one hand, it’s great that Seumalo responded after a terrible game. On the other hand, he’s in Year 4 and terrible games like that shouldn’t happen.
While there was a spotlight on Seumalo after his performance in Atlanta, his process didn’t really change. Sure, he wanted to learn from the tape, but he also wanted to move on. That’s his mentality after every game — good or bad.
That has been his process for the last couple of years and he thinks it has helped.
“It’s obviously more dramatic when it’s a bad game,” Seumalo said. “But when you have a good game too, you have to move on. You know what I mean?”
Stoutland raved about Seumalo this week. He raved about him in the run game, as a pass protector and as an intelligent piece of the offensive line capable of being a problem-solver on the field.
That support from Stoutland means a lot to Seumalo.
“He knows,” Seumalo said. “He knows I’m a good player and I’m a guy you can trust out there at any position. He knew, I knew, that the Atlanta thing wasn’t me. It’s the exception, not the standard.”
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