When Doug Pederson spoke to reporters after practice on the first day of Eagles training camp, he declined to mention who Philadelphia’s starter at left guard will be.
“I'm not going to get into roster positions right now,” said Pederson. “It's still too early in camp.”
Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich was a little more, well, frank about the outlook of the position. He named Isaac Seumalo as the team’s starter.
“I mean, Isaac’s the starter and then it’s just competition from there,” said Reich. “That’s the great thing about training camp, the great thing about this business, it’s so stinking competitive. It’s what the guys love about it, it’s what we love about it. So again, it’ll play itself out.”
Reich’s comment is hardly a shocking revelation. Seumalo took a majority of the first team reps at left guard in OTAs and minicamp. He did split some time at that spot with 2016 starting left guard Allen Barbre, however.
Still, Seumalo was the favorite for the job to begin with. Philadelphia is clearly high on the second-year player; the front office picked him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Seumalo also showed promise as a rookie during four starts at various positions.
Versatility is just one of Seumalo’s strengths. Reich explained why the team feels confident in him as a starter.
“Very smart, understands what he’s being coached. Understands fronts. Understand defensive schemes, what to anticipate. Very athletic. Tough-minded, tough-minded player.”
Earlier this offseason, there was some thought Seumalo might replace Jason Kelce as the team’s starting center. That’s obviously not the case now. Here’s what Philadelphia’s starting 2017 offensive line looks like:
Left tackle - Jason Peters
Left guard - Isaac Seumalo
Center - Jason Kelce
Right guard - Brandon Brooks
Right tackle - Lane Johnson
On paper, that’s not a bad group. Add in the fact Barbre can be a capable starter at every non-center position and the Eagles have depth as well. Not to mention Stefen Wisniewski can start in the middle of the line if Kelce gets hurt or struggles. The Eagles also have former No. 10 overall pick Chance Warmack on the roster. He only received $500,000 guaranteed, though, so it’s not like he’s an absolute lock to make the team.
Eagles training camp is just beginning, so there’s plenty of time left for starting jobs and roster spots to be won or lost. But for now, the battle that was supposed to take place at left guard is seemingly over.
Check out Frank Reich’s entire press conference (click here or watch below).
Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich speaking after practice.Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, July 26, 2017