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Troy Fautanu Looks Forward to Gaining Wisdom From Isaac Seumalo

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Steelers offensive tackle Troy Fautanu
Steelers Troy Fautanu at rookie minicamp on May 10, 2024. -- Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick Troy Fautanu will have a great mentor in his rookie season, as the team placed his locker next to veteran Isaac Seumalo. Seumalo doesn’t say much, but when he does it speaks volumes.

“I’m right next to Isaac,” Fautanu said. “I’ve apologized to him because I’m going to be bothering him a bunch. When you’ve got a guy like that, a nine-year vet that’s been around the league for so long, you want to pick his brain. He’s got a lot coming. I’m going to be bothering him a whole bunch.”

Both players are also of Polynesian descent, which Troy Fautanu thinks will be beneficial in their relationship. Seumalo is from Honolulu, Hawaii, while Fautanu was born and raised in Henderson, Nevada. Fautanu is of Samoan and Tongan heritage.

“Just knowing he was brought up on the same morals and values that I was makes it a little bit easier to talk to him,” Fautanu said.

As mentioned, Seumalo is very quiet. Troy Fautanu says he will try not to pick his brain too much.

“To be honest, he’s a man of few words,” Fautanu stated. “I learned that very quickly, so I didn’t want to bother him too much on my first day. I didn’t want to have a bad first impression.”

Fautanu started rookie minicamp at right tackle, not left tackle, which he played at Washington.

“Yeah, not sure, you’d have to ask them that,” Fautanu said when asked if the plan was to play him at right tackle. “I’m just doing what they are telling me to do.”

Broderick Jones played most of his rookie season at right tackle rather than his natural left tackle spot, while Dan Moore Jr. manned the left side. But Fautanu is learning the right side, and he did play there some at Washington in practice but never had a live in-game rep at that spot. The biggest difference? Reversing everything, including footwork and the dominant hand.

“The biggest challenge is flipping the footwork,” Fautanu said. “You’ve just been playing left for so long, so shout out to my coach back in college, who is making sure that we are comfortable playing both sides, so I’m ready to work and learn there. Whenever we did individual drills every day, we did right hand stances and left hand stances.”

Fautanu played left tackle for a left-handed quarterback at Washington. He’s used to being on the quarterback’s front side. He’s also a little bit shorter and has slightly shorter arms, so he’s therefore a little bit easier for a quarterback see over (perhaps of elevated importance with the short-of-stature Russell Wilson as a passer) and will have a slightly harder time with the best of the best edge rushers, most of which play on the offense’s left.

Nick Farabaugh provided reporting from Pittsburgh.

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