Guarded outlook: Eagles' Isaac Seumalo says he'll work through struggles

The young left guard's benching still isn't official, but he says he'll support whoever plays.

Much of how Isaac Seumalo is dealing with his situation remained hidden Friday, like Seumalo’s eyes, shaded by the dense coils of fuzzy hair the Eagles’ 2016 third-round draft choice has refrained from trimming for more than a year.

We also don’t know with 100 percent certainty that Chance Warmack will start in Seumalo’s left guard spot Sunday against the visiting New York Giants, though that has been the upshot from Seumalo’s teammates this week, after Warmack worked with the starters during the tiny shred of practice reporters were allowed to watch on Wednesday.

Officially, Eagles coach Doug Pederson will decide by Sunday which guard is the starter. Seumalo said he did get some reps with the first unit this week. But Seumalo did not combat suggestions that he was being benched.

Asked how he thought he played in last Sunday’s loss at Kansas City, in which Seumalo figured in four of the six sacks Carson Wentz took, Seumalo said: “[Bleepy].”

“I’m preparing to play, regardless of what happens. Whether I’m starting or not, I’m going to be a great teammate,” Seumalo said.

“Nobody’s perfect. But how you get back from those defeats and not playing well, that’s what people remember … I’m going to get better.”

This has not been an easy week, Seumalo acknowledged.

“I still don’t have to worry about a meal. I got shelter over my head and 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.”

Seumalo’s parents are Karen and Joe. Joe is the defensive line coach at San Jose State. Isaac said he has spoken to his father this week about his struggles, but he declined to provide details.

He said the other o-linemen have provided advice and support, but there again, Seumalo said he preferred to keep those conversations private.

“First and foremost, I gotta pass protect better,” Seumalo said, when asked what he needs to improve. Pederson mentioned Seumalo dropping his head while pass blocking, which affects balance, and also being late with his hands.

“There’s tons of stuff that goes into that,” said Seumalo, who said offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland would help him get straight. “He’s a great coach, I’m a really good player. Things are going to go all right,” Seumalo said.

There has been considerable speculation about whether benching Seumalo, a player the organization thinks has a bright future, will do him serious harm.

“Nothing’s going to affect me,” Seumalo said. “I’m going to get ready to play, and 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 that’s going to play. There’s no dropoff; these guys are going to play great.

“Chance is a powerful dude … He’s a good player.”

Joke fell flat?

Sammy Watkins, the Los Angeles Rams receiver who caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns Thursday night against the 49ers, was in the news this week before that performance. Watkins, asked by an interviewer if he believed the earth is flat, replied affirmatively.

There was nothing further in terms of quotes or context.

Jaylen Watkins, Eagles defensive back and Sammy’s half-brother, said Friday he wasn’t surprised to hear something like that from Sammy. Jaylen said Sammy is a contrarian. Jaylen pointed to a black metal folding chair in the locker room. “If you [say] ‘This chair is black,’ he’ll challenge it,” Jaylen said. “He’s probably playing with most people.”


Giants safety Janoris Jenkins was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after being a limited practice participant Friday, with an ankle injury … Giants right tackle Bobby Hart, who also has an ankle injury, is out … Eagles wideout Torrey Smith was listed as questionable after missing Friday’s practice with an illness.

Read more by Les Bowen

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