Talk to Shane Lemieux and you realize this young man gives off an old-school “every practice, every snap, do whatever it takes and whatever position you’re asked” vibe. It’s no wonder that an old-school GM like Dave Gettleman and a no-nonsense coach like Joe Judge fell for Lemieux, making the Oregon product a member of the New York Giants with their fifth-round pick, 150th overall, in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Lemieux made 52 starts at Oregon. He missed one snap in a game sophomore year vs. Wyoming when his shoe came off. Other than that, he only came off the field in blowout games when backups were allowed to play.
He never missed a practice in his time playing with the Ducks.
“Every single day in college I approached each day as if my job was on the line. I think the biggest factor as to why I never missed a practice or why I never missed a game rep was just because if I wasn’t getting those reps somebody else was,” Lemieux said on Tuesday during a videoconference with Giants media.
“I think that’s just the way I take the game. I take a lot of pride in the sense that any play could be your last.”
Much, obviously has been made since Lemieux was drafted by the Giants of the fact that he has been working to learn the center position. It’s one he never played in college, but where the Giants have a need and have acknowledged they will cross train him.
“During this draft process I understood this game’s all about versatility and I think that me getting good at all three interior positions is going to benefit me well in the future. I don’t really have a position. I just want to be ready to play whatever the coach asks me to,” Lemieux said.
“Versatility is the biggest factor in this game. coaches are going to want to put you in different spots. I have really good mentors that told me that.
“I just want to be prepared.”
Lemieux played all of his snaps at Oregon at left guard, and acknowledged that there are nuances to each spot along the line.
“Obviously every single offensive line position is going to have different techniques,” Lemieux said. “With center there is a lot more responsibility on you to know the offense and to know more of the defense and be more sound with what’s going on around you. Then, obviously, you’ve got to snap the ball.”
Lemieux knows that being able to play multiple spots could be his ticket to early playing time.
“As a young player in this league its the ultimate test to be able to play all different positions,” he said. “You want to be the best player you can be and the best player you can be is somebody who can be thrown in at any position and be ready to play.”
Much has also been made of what seems to be a non-nonsense attitude from head coach Joe Judge, who told him to “put your head down and work.” That is fine with Lemieux.
He said Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal “emphasized doing the work before doing the talking. That’s a really important piece that taught me how to be a pro.”