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No Hype, No Problem for the Understated and Undervalued Isaac Seumalo

Jeff Stoutland called the LG "brilliant" and said he knows every pressure and position along the offensive line, though he often times gets overlooked

Jordan Mailata's bone-crunching block of Falcons safety Richie Grant grabbed the headlines, but it was one of several standout blocks by the Eagles' offensive line in their season-opening win.

Center Jason Kelce pulled into open space and took on not one, but two defenders on a Miles Sanders rush.

Then, there was left guard Isaac Seumalo.

That's always the way it seems with Seumalo - always the last to get the recognition.

"He certainly hasn't been overlooked in our room," said Kelce on Thursday. "We all have known how good Isaac is for a very long time. It's only a matter of time before the national media catches on."

So, there was Seumalo inside the 10 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday, joining a double-team block of Grady Jarrett then peeling off and sealing linebacker  Foyesade Oluokun to open a gaping lane for Kenny Gainwell to scoot easily into the end zone on an 8-yard run.

“I think Isaac’s been a standout stud for us for some time," said Kelce. "It’s not like it’s new this week. Isaac’s been a helluva player for us for a long time. I still remember when he was a rookie we were asking him, and even a little bit into his second year, we were asking him to play tackle, guard, and center, and tight end in jumbo packages.

"He’s an incredibly smart player who’s very athletic, he’s physical. He has all the traits that you need as an offensive lineman."

The lone member of the Eagles’ 2016 NFL Draft class is Seumalo, as we all expected. Alright, perhaps not, but Philadelphia should be grateful that he’s hung on with the franchise after the level of play he’s given the team.

And they should be grateful that they have found a position for him to settle into at left guard.

MORE: Jason Kelce lost a bet to Zach Ertz and Now his Hair is Blonde

"It feels really good to be able to lock into one position and the fine details, the subtleties of the position and what I can work on in the offseason and continually work to get better during the season and having a lot of confidence," he said on Thursday. 

"I think that’s the biggest thing. As offensive linemen, you have to be confident, especially in all those one-on-one matchups. You have to that mentality of being a dawg out there and getting after guys."

Seumalo has quietly become a successful day two pick for the Eagles, which shouldn't be understated given their inconsistencies in the hits and misses in those rounds.

When the pick of Seumalo was made, he was announced as a center. And at the time of the pick, there were questions regarding Kelce's future.

Five years later, Kelce is still here and Seumalo has settled in nicely in his position, thanks in no small part to offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who has done a terrific job in developing every player along the line and helping them reach their ceiling.

"Stoutland has been integral to the football player I am today.," Seumalo said. "I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am if it wasn’t for him.

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“He truly cares about each individual on and off the field. He coaches the heck out of guys and that’s something you want. You don’t want a guy just there for a paycheck. For us, he’s here to service us and I try to be a sponge every day with him and the older guys and learn as much as I can and be confident in what I’m doing.”

Isaac Seumalo

Isaac Seumalo

Added Stoutland on Friday: "The players in our room know the value that Isaac Seuamlo brings to this organization.

"He knows every pressure that anybody runs that we present in our meetings. He's brilliant...I can't say enough about Isaac."

Stoutland said that Seumalo has progressed, but "these last two years, he's really accelerated."

Though durability has been an issue, the team rewarded him with a three-year contract extension as there were no more questions regarding the future of the Eagles’ left guard position.

In 2020, Seumalo found himself on injured reserve with a knee injury, which sidelined him for seven games, and played a part in Philadelphia’s woes, with the team using an NFL record-breaking 14 different offensive line combinations.

When the left guard returned to the starting lineup, however, he dominated. 

During the last five weeks of this past season, Seumalo surrendered just one sack and ten total pressures, all stats according to Pro Football Focus

Seumalo, 28, picked up his dominant play right where he left off last Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons, helping contain Jarrett. His work led to him being PFF’s highest-ranking guard this past weekend.

When the Eagles selected Landon Dickerson in round two of the 2021 NFL Draft, some immediately penciled him in at left guard over Seumalo. 

That shows how much of an underdog and how much of Seumalo’s good string of football goes under the table, especially being in the shadows of Eagles’ stars Kelce, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, and newly extended Jordan Mailata.

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Seumalo, though, doesn’t care if people are singing his praises or not paying much attention to him.

I" try not to worry about any of that stuff," he said. "I try to lock in with what I’m doing and what my job is, how can I perform at the highest level, how can I improve every day. 

"As great of a team sport as football is it really does come down to those individual matchups of you versus the guy across from you, especially on the offensive line. So, for me, it’s focusing on my craft, focusing on my job, my assignment, all that stuff and everything else will take care of itself."

With a relatively inexpensive contract, one that counts just $3 million against this year's salary cap and rises to a relatively modest $7.66M in 2022, Seumalo doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Conor Myles covers the Philadelphia Eagles for SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-hosts the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast on Bleav Podcast Network. Reach Conor at ConorMylesSI@gmail.com or Twitter: @ConorMylesSI

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.