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Cam Jurgens turns to former Eagles lineman to learn right guard, explains challenges of new position

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PHILADELPHIA — Throughout the process of learning right guard last season, Cam Jurgens had the benefit of shadowing Isaac Seumalo as he was getting accustomed to a new position. The Philadelphia Eagles had Jason Kelce at center, so Jurgens took right guard reps in training camp in order for more position versatility. 

The right guard transition didn’t last long. Kelce had elbow surgery during training camp, which thrust Jurgens back into the center spot until Kelce returned. Jurgens would eventually find himself back at the right guard spot, as the heir apparent at center learned Kelce was coming back for 2023.

There’s a vacancy at right guard. Jurgens is in line to fill it, using what he learned in his short time there last season as preparation for what’s ahead. 

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“I mean, it’s not as challenging as going from tight end to center — so that helps,” Jurgens joked at Eagles minicamp Thursday (Jurgens was initially a tight end at Nebraska). “It’s been fun, it’s super helpful having (Jason) Kelce next to me telling me how things are supposed to be done and watching Landon (Dickerson) do it. Isaac (Seumalo) was a pro at it last year.”

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Seumalo signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers is why Jurgens has an opportunity to start at right guard in 2023 — and serve as the Eagles’ right guard until Kelce decides to hang up his cleats. The Eagles had a steady presence in Seumalo on the offensive line for seven seasons, as he played left guard, center, right guard, and right tackle turning his time in Philadelphia. 

Seumalo thrived at right guard, allowing just one sack and 17 pressures at right guard last season. To thrive at right guard himself, Jurgens is mimicking Seumalo and the techniques he used to become one of the better guards in the league. 

“Isaac is awesome to watch film of,” Jurgens said. “When he first got here, you see him going into that extra tight end position before he started here. He’s very athletic, does a lot of really great things with his feet. He’s really quick and how he moves. I’ve been watching him a lot.”

Seumalo taught Jurgens he doesn’t have to be the prototypical right guard to succeed in the NFL. There are different ways to play the position, no matter the size (Seumalo is listed at 6-3, 304 while Jurgens is listed at 6-3, 302). 

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“Just watch film every day of what those guys do and how Isaac handled himself and how he handled just different, you know, all of his footwork,” Jurgens said. “You don’t have to have the same footwork for every block and people do things differently. 

“It’s cool getting to see that and still go in and still be an athlete at right guard like I can be at center.”

Jurgens admitted he’s at 305 pounds now, but wants to open camp at 310, 315. That’s the physical toll he’s battling to play right guard. The mental challenge, he’s still learning to master.

“Right now, it’s in the process of getting in at right guard and being able to communicate with the center and tackle from the guard perspective,” Jurgens said. “Last year, it was all kind of center communicating. Getting everyone on the same page. 

“Now, it’s feeding information into (Jason) Kelce and it’s a little different communication wise — talk to tackle, tight end, center and just feeding information into people making calls instead of making sure everyone is on the same page.”

Taking the Seumalo mentality, Jurgens is forming his own mold at right guard. He’s not the prototypical right guard, nor does he have to be.

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“I’m not quite the 350 pound Landon (Dickerson), so I handle things differently,” Jurgens said with a laugh. “I wanna be an athlete in any spot I can. I don’t wanna fit into the pizza cutter mold of what a right guard is supposed to be. 

“I just wanna be out there and be a good offensive lineman.” 


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