In Nate Herbig’s eyes, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line got a whole lot better this offseason. A whole lot smarter, too. Speaking to reporters following Wednesday’s OTA practice, Herbig praised the player and the person Isaac Seumalo is, crediting him for helping Herbig develop in the NFL.
“He’s a genius,” he said via Steelers.com. “He’s very smart. He doesn’t say much. But I really look up to Isaac a lot. He helped me a lot earlier in my young career. He’s still helping me.”
Seumalo came out of college as a versatile player who could move up and down the line, playing center, both tackle spots, and right guard. In the NFL, Seumalo has logged time at all three interior positions, most of it at left and right guard but he’s also handled a handful of snaps at center. Dumb players don’t have that kind of versatility and Seumalo has been praised for his football IQ.
He’s expected to serve as the team’s starting left guard, replacing Kevin Dotson. Herbig will serve as a top backup at both guard spots. The two are teammates again, Herbig previously playing with Seumalo in Philadelphia and crediting him for helping with his transition to the NFL.
Earlier in the offseason, Eagles’ center Jason Kelce praised Seumalo, calling him a “steal” for Pittsburgh. Herbig hadn’t heard those comments but emphatically agreed with the sentiment.
“Everything Kelce said, I second that,” he said.
Herbig won’t start out of the gate but will provide key depth along the Steelers’ offensive line. Pittsburgh was fortunate enough to go all 17 games with the same five starters a year ago, the only team in football that can make that claim, but it’s doubtful they’ll get that lucky again. At some point, odds are good Herbig will step into the starting lineup, perhaps replacing Seumalo, the man who helped show him the NFL ropes.