Had everything gone to plan in 2016, Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai would have spent their rookie seasons watching from the sideline.
Everything didn't go to plan.
Allen Barbre had a hamstring injury, Lane Johnson was suspended for 10 games and Brandon Brooks lost two games as he dealt with anxiety issues.
As a result, Seumalo and Vaitai, third- and fifth-round draft picks, respectively, aren't just one year into their NFL careers. They've also played significant NFL snaps.
And this year, they'll arrive at training camp as seasoned veterans, not green rookies. So which has had the greater impact: the year or playing time?
"It’s both," head coach Doug Pederson said. "It's a combination of both. But the biggest thing is the actual playing time last year has really put them in good position this year."
Vaitai ended up playing in seven games with six starts. He played a total of 423 snaps as a rookie and filled in for Johnson until he went down with a knee injury. After a rough start — really rough — Vaitai settled in and showed signs that he could possibly be the Eagles' right tackle of the future.
When asked about the difference in Vaitai from last year to this year, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland laughed before answering.
"Night and day, apples and oranges," Stoutland said. "Just his understanding of the position, his balance, his body control, the way he uses his hands. This is a lot faster game than college."
Vaitai found out about the speed of the game first-hand in Week 6 last year. Thanks to Johnson's suspension, Vaitai started at right tackle and didn't have a bad game. He had a horrible game.
He didn't need to think very long when he was asked what his "welcome to the NFL" moment was.
"It was that game," he said. "Because in camp I'm going with the threes and twos. I was still a rookie, but when I got thrown into the fire, I learned real quick that if you're not doing great, then you're out. I didn't want to be a disappointment to my family and be that guy who gets drafted and then is out the next year."
Seumalo ended up playing in nine games with four starts and a total of 335 snaps. He played four positions along the offensive line; the only one he didn't play was his most natural spot at center.
"It's not just the year, it's the playing experience," Stoutland said. "He's played in nine games I think he started four of those games. ... He played a lot of football in his first year. Just that experience in playing those positions and understanding the angles we need to take. He's a very intelligent player. I love coaching players of his magnitude. They have talent, they're smart. Really all you do is coach him one time on something and he pretty much has it."
Seumalo didn't get to play at center last year because veteran Jason Kelce didn't miss any of the 1,133 snaps in 2016. Kelce is still on the team, but it seems like the Eagles are grooming Seumalo to eventually take over. Even this spring, the second-year lineman has been taking some first-team reps at center.
That's actually how Seumalo thinks he got better. By learning the center position, he gained a better grasp of the offense. That, combined with a year under his belt and significant playing time, have him feeling much more confident heading into Year 2.
"Training camp was tough and a grind and the season is just long," Seumalo said. "Now, I know what to expect a little bit more."