After three days of vigorous Isaac Seumalo defense from Doug Pederson and Frank Reich, the Eagles began Wednesday’s position drills with Chance Warmack lined up at first-team left guard, between Jason Peters and Jason Kelce.
Pederson spoke to reporters before practice Wednesday and wasn’t asked directly if he would stick with Seumalo for this week’s matchup against the stout New York Giants defensive line. This was mostly because offensive coordinator Frank Reich (Tuesday) and Pederson (Monday) had already issued strong defenses of Seumalo, a second-year player who is held in high regard by the organization.
On Monday, Pederson said experienced backups (such as Warmack and Stefen Wisniewski) were “great to have,” but that he didn’t “want to push any panic buttons at this time.”
He said Seumalo “has done an outstanding job” overall since he was drafted.
Reich pretty much said Tuesday that it wasn’t time to make a change.
“When you see an individual get beat once or twice in a game, you don’t like it, but it happens to literally everybody who suits up and goes out there and plays. Now, if that happens over five, six, seven games then it becomes a problem and you evaluate it,” Reich said. “When it happens in one game, you say ‘OK. We take note of it. But we have a lot of confidence, we’ve been working hard, we believe in our guys.’ Whether it’s Isaac or whether it’s another guy, it happens in this league. We fight to get better. And then you evaluate over the long haul.”
Warmack, 26, was the 10th overall selection in the 2013 draft, by the Tennessee Titans. He was a disappointment there and was allowed to become a free agent when his four-year rookie deal expired, though he started all 48 games he played in over four seasons.
At 6-2, 323, Warmack is shorter and bulkier than Seumalo, 6-4, 303. Seumalo’s best asset is his athleticism.
Of course, Wednesday’s position drills might not be the definitive word on a lineup change, but usually, the starting offensive line does the drills together.
Seumalo, a third-round pick in 2016, has struggled in both starts at left guard this season. He seemed to factor into four of the six sacks the Eagles gave up at Kansas City.
“First and foremost, I’ve got to play better. No doubt about it,” Seumalo said in the locker room after the Eagles’ 27-20 loss Sunday.
Pederson was asked after the game if he considered pulling Seumalo. He said the team has “a lot of confidence” in Seumalo, “but at the same time, we’ve got to make sure we get him coached up right and headed in the right direction.”
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