G Shane Lemieux
November 6, 2020
Q: Take us through the spike and what that was like for you? That whole play, kind of getting your responsibility done and being able to celebrate in your first NFL start.
A: It was a good called run right there at the end zone. It’s one of my first touchdowns, we had one before that but that was our first running play touchdown. We were all pretty juiced. I was pretty juiced. Wayne (Gallman) handed me the ball and I didn’t really know what to do with it. I was like, you know what spike it, so I did. That’s what happened and everyone is kind of giving me a little bit of hell for it because it was a bad spike. I was just so juiced and excited to be in the moment. I just wanted to celebrate with my team, and I thought that was pretty cool.
Q: I see people calling you ‘the big ox’. Is that your nickname or something?
A: Yeah, back in Oregon that was a nickname they gave me.
Q: What was it like finally getting out there? Did you feel like you had a welcome to the NFL moment that stands out from that game?
A: Obviously, it’s a lot different. My adrenaline was rushing pretty good. I felt like I was prepared. I felt like I was ready to handle the task. I didn’t let the moment get too big and I just played. I think every play, even at practice we see some really good D-linemen. Nothing really shocked me. It is the NFL so every single play the guy you are going against is really good.
Q: It sounded like the coaching staff had been planning to kind of get you in there at some point. Even before Will had to be sidelined. Was that something you prepared for in the recent weeks?
A: I prepare every single day, every single week like I’m going to start. If you keep preparing, you prepare every single day, you don’t have to get ready. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. I think I had that kind of mantra. I just want to be able to help the team however I can. Whenever my number is called, I want to be able to provide support wherever I’m put.
Q: What have you thought of Justin’s (Herbert) first year in the league too? Have you been paying much attention to what he’s been doing?
A: Yeah, he’s been doing a heck of a job. I’m pretty good friends with Justin. He’s putting up good numbers. I always thought he was a really good quarterback. I’m excited to watch him play. I’m happy for his success.
Q: In terms of you and your fellow rookies. Do you guys talk a lot about being rookies together and sort of going through this journey together? It seems like you’re all on different time frames but on similar paths where you start to get a couple snaps and then you’re integrated more into the game plans.
A: I think it’s a tightknit group. We went over all offseason together doing virtual stuff. There was a time period here when we got with the Giants where it was just the rookies only together. I think we have a pretty good bond. This is a weird year so I think everybody is relying on vets for support. Relying on other rookies has really helped us. I’m really close with the other rookie O-linemen. I’m happy to have those guys, they’re really good guys. I pick their brain and I’m sure they pick mine sometimes too. Growing together every single day.
Q: I think it was coach Judge who earlier this week talked about you and said about that whole ‘welcome to the NFL’ moment. That it was Ndamukong Suh who you see across from you. I know necessarily there may not be a play. As a rookie, is there a transition where you have to shake that off early? The idea that it’s not about the reputation of the guy on the other side of the ball. It’s just breaking down guys for who they are. Are you able to put their names and their reputations out of the picture. Is that a hard thing to do as a rookie early on?
A: As a rookie, it’s a lot different than college. Every single week there’s a star-studded defensive linemen. Every week there’s not a drop-off. Whether it’s Ndamukong Suh whether it’s Jonathan Allen. Everybody in this league is good and you have to bring it every single week. That’s definitely a transition. It’s not like when I was back at Oregon and we were playing Southern Utah, it’s almost like a bye week. Every single week you have to go because there’s guys in this league on every single team that can play ball.
Q: Is there and awe factor though? Do you have to put it out of your mind so you’re not treating it like, ‘oh man it’s Ndamukong Suh, what am I going to do here?’ in my first career start?
A: Yeah, you just can’t really think about that. You can’t really think about that, I never try to think about that.
Q: Coach (Judge) has talk about possibly rotating the guards like he’s done with the tackles and stuff. There’s a school of thought that ideally you want to build continuity. You want to have the same guys in there for all the snaps. Can you just talk a little bit about why the rotation has kind of worked with the tackles and with the guards as well? What is it about the coaching or maybe it’s the scheme, I don’t know? What is it that’s made the rotation seem less scary for you guys?
A: I really can’t talk about it that much. I think it’s keeping guys fresh. Obviously, coach Judge, coach Colombo and everybody has a plan and it’s their decision. I think it probably helps keep us fresh. It’s just getting guys more comfortable. Me getting out there, it made me more comfortable. I can’t really speak to that.
Q: Before you started last game, you got a fullback snap. Were you demanding the ball in that huddle?
A: No, I was just happy to be out there.
Q: Had you every played fullback before?
A: Nope. Never.
Q: The word that Colombo and Judge keep using for you is nasty. Nasty attitude, he plays with some nasty. Where does that come from? Are you the younger brother who got beat up by your older brothers? Where does the nastiness come from?
A: I think I was always taught to play football that way. I think that’s how offensive line should be played. Ever since I was younger and I started playing football, I was always taught if you make a mistake make it 100 percent. Go fly around and hit somebody. I feel like that mantra has kind of stuck with me. Even at Oregon, I was rumored as the physical guy. I like that part of the game and I kind of embrace it.