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“Lunch pail worker” Patrick Omameh ready to accept challenge with Giants

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Guard doesn’t get attention of Nate Solder or Will Hernandez, but will play a key role in 2018

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Patrick Omameh
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have made a number of moves across their offensive line. They signed left tackle Nate Solder, drafted left guard Will Hernandez, moved Ereck Flowers to right tackle and opened a center competition between Brett Jones and Jon Halapio.

The overlooked move the Giants made was adding veteran guard Patrick Omameh to replace John Jerry and D.J. Fluker at right guard. Let’s spend a bit of time discussing Omameh as we continue rolling through our profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 327
Position: Guard
Experience: 5

2017 season in review

Omameh was a full-time starter for the second time in his career, starting at left guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars in all 13 games in which he played. Omameh missed three games with a quad injury. In 2014, Omameh started 16 games at right guard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Omameh compiled a 53.6 Pro Football Focus grade in 2017, which placed him in PFF’s “poor” category.

2018 outlook

The Giants are Omameh’s sixth team since he entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He’s been with the San Francisco 49ers (practice squad only), Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Jaguars and now the Giants.

Offensive Line Performance Consultant Duke Manyweather told me that Omameh is a “solid” player and a “lunch pail worker.”

Omameh said he is “Blue collar, like to work I would say that I fit into that category. Never been afraid of work, never been afraid of competition. I think that’s one thing that’s helped me get to this point in my career and I think that’s part of my character.”

If he didn’t really know the recent history of Giants’ offensive line play when he signed, Omameh certainly does now. He understands what is expected.

“I feel like the expectations have been clear and they’ve been set,” Omameh said. “And to a man, everybody who is in that O-line room and everybody that’s going to be on that field playing offensive line, we understand what the job is and we feel that we’ll be fully capable of getting that job done.”

The offensive line rebuild was expected, but perhaps not the form it took. The giants were expected to heavily pursue Andrew Norwell in free agency. Norwell, though, ended up taking Omameh’s spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars, leading to Omameh signing a three-year, $15 million contract ($10.05 million guaranteed) with the Giants.

Don’t, though, tell Omameh that some people might consider him a consolation prize for losing out on Norwell.

“I do know that I’m a guy who was brought here to do a job and I plan to do it,” Omameh told me when I asked him the Norwell question early in OTAs.

Omameh has already moved from left guard, where he was early in the spring, to right guard to accommodate Hernandez. He has played the right side before, though, and that adjustment is nothing compared to the NFL odyssey that led him to the Giants.

“It’s been what some might call a winding road. It’s a testament to the coaches I’ve had, the training I’ve put in in the offseason just being able to allow myself an opportunity to get onto the field, show what I can do,” Omameh said. “Blessed with an opportunity now to be here in New York with the New York Football Giants. I have a chance to try to help this team do something special this year.”

For the Giants to have a special year, Omameh and his line mates will have to do their part.

“I feel like the guys here everybody has the same goal, and that’s to win, and that’s the most important part,” Omameh said. “I’ve been on teams that have been low and teams that have been high. Teams that have the guys that all want that same thing, that’s the crucial part, that’s the foundation, you can’t build anything without having that. We’ve got that here and I feel like this team’s ready to do something special.”

Omameh is being counted on as a key part of making that happen. He certainly won’t run from the challenge.