OL Shane Lemieux
June 2, 2022
Q. I think last year Joe Judge said something like you would chew off your own foot to get back out on the field. How hard was it being sidelined for basically the entire season?
SHANE LEMIEUX: That was my first injury ever in my career, so it was kind of a different mental standpoint, but I just love to practice, I love to get better, and obviously, not being able to be out there with the guys, I was trying to do everything I could to get out there.
Q. What does it mean not to be in a red jersey? Almost every guy who was hurt last year is still in the cautious red jersey phase. You're not.
SHANE LEMIEUX: I was itching to get it off. I was itching to get it off because I didn't even want the persona, I guess. I didn't want to be in that jersey, and I did everything I could to get out of it.
Q. Did they hand one to you and you said, no?
SHANE LEMIEUX: The training staff did everything they could to get me back out here and everything, so I'm really grateful for everyone in this building and everyone who helped get me back, yeah.
Q. Last year you obviously got hurt during training camp, and you were trying to play through it. Were you in a lot of pain in that week one game that you were playing?
SHANE LEMIEUX: Yeah. Yeah, but -- yeah. I was in a lot of pain.
Q. Was it after that point where you realized you couldn't go after that?
SHANE LEMIEUX: Yeah, at halftime I went in and called it quits. I didn't call it quits, but I said that’s enough.
Q. For a guy who prides himself on toughness, you probably pushed it beyond where a tough guy would have taken it, right?
SHANE LEMIEUX: It was more the fact that I wanted to be out there for my team. I wanted to be out there and playing. I did everything I could to get out there. I didn't really think about I've got to tough through this. It was just like my teammates need me, and I love this game so much, I was going to do everything I could to get on that field.
Q. It's easy to ask now, but would you have done anything differently knowing --
SHANE LEMIEUX: No. No regrets, man. It's a new year and look at me. I'm here now, and I'm healthy, and I'm ready to roll.
Q. You come back now, and it's a new look. Completely new offensive line room. New offensive line coach. What's it like coming back to this room with so many new faces?
SHANE LEMIEUX: It's awesome. We have a great group of guys. You guys just talked to Glow. He is a great dude. We have Jon Feliciano, great guy.
The rookies all coming in are great dudes, man. They’re learning. They're like sponges right now, and it's really cool to see. Obviously learning a new scheme is fun, and it's stressful at the same time because you have to learn all new stuff, and you have to learn new verbiage and all that kind of stuff, but it's kind of a cool standpoint of getting my feet under me again and starting from scratch basically.
Q. With the whole year of rehab, did you reconfigure your body a little bit?
SHANE LEMIEUX: No, I have always been -- I probably leaned out a little more. I came in, I was a little heavier, and then I leaned out and leaned out.
Actually, I made a home gym this offseason when I was on IR, so that's been my gig this offseason. I have any own gym, so I don't have to leave my house. I'm a workout junkie. That's what I really like to do. I'm about 305 to 310 right now.
Q. What were you as a rookie?
SHANE LEMIEUX: I was 313, but bad weight. It was bad weight.
Q. Daboll and Bobby Johnson both said when they were in Buffalo, they liked you. I'm wondering if you remember anything about conversations with them when they were there, and did you think Buffalo was going to draft you that year?
SHANE LEMIEUX: I had an official meeting at the combine with the Buffalo staff with Dabs and Bobby Johnson. I got the normal talk and everything like that, but it was after that I had constant communication with Bobby through the draft process even leading up to the draft. I thought they were going to take me, but I got the best of both worlds. I'm here at the best organization ever, and I'm with this new coaching staff.
Q. Did you have to knock off any rust when you came out here?
SHANE LEMIEUX: The first few days it's just getting -- I haven't really done football movements because I've been rehabbing so hard, getting the knee right. When I first got out here, yeah, I guess I was shaking a little rust off.
The stuff like cadence. I've got to get used to hearing the quarterback’s cadence again and get used to playing next to new guys. That kind of stuff.
Q. What was Kayvon Thibodeaux like as a freshman at Oregon?
SHANE LEMIEUX: He was obviously the number one prospect in high school coming out, and he was a great athlete. When he walked in, you could tell that's a football player right there.
He was a good dude, a good locker room guy. We had a lot of battles his rookie year. I think it was his sophomore year he really stood out most. I think it was the PAC-12 Championship Game against Utah my senior year. He had like a strip sack, a punt block. It was a bunch of stuff. Sophomore year I think is when he really shined.
Q. What did you think leading up to the draft? There were knocks on him about a guy who takes plays off, a guy who doesn't love football. What did you think of that knowing that you knew him?
SHANE LEMIEUX: I never even paid attention to that because I know the kind of player he was. He was phenomenal, and I know in practice he was going all-out every single play.
Obviously, they asked me because I’m from Oregon what I thought about him, and I told them straight up he is the guy, he is a real dude, a real good player. Effort is nothing I would ever question for him.
Q. I don't know if you are a believer in Pro Football Focus and some of those metrics. They did not take kindly to your pass blocking as a rookie.
SHANE LEMIEUX: Yeah.
Q. When you look at the film, what did you see, and was it not what they saw?
SHANE LEMIEUX: That's like two years ago now. I listen to what my coach at the time was telling me. I don't have a Twitter. I don't have any of that kind of stuff, so I don't listen to that kind of stuff. I'm kind of old-school. Much respect to PFF, but I listen to what my coaches tell me.
Q. Are you getting used to "Frenchie" as a nickname?
SHANE LEMIEUX: I've heard it all. I've had a lot of nicknames. This is a new one for me.
Q. Probably not the worst one.
SHANE LEMIEUX: Not the worst one.
Q. What about the nickname of your center? That's not --
SHANE LEMIEUX: Dirt Bag? It's a term of endearment. (Laughing).
Q. Two years ago when you were playing, they talked about you as a nasty -- they didn't call you Dirt Bag, but had a "dirt bag" connotation.
SHANE LEMIEUX: I think that's what Bobby was getting at with that. I don't want to speak for him, but he prides himself as a tough, physical player, Jon does, and that kind of fits him.
Q. Do you like that? Do you like when people talk about you and say, he has a nasty disposition, and all that kind of stuff?
SHANE LEMIEUX: I think that fits the profile, the mold of what offensive linemen should be who are tone setters. In this offense, the offensive line, we're tone setters, and that's the way we should play, and that's the way we're coached.
Q. While we're at it, what's the nicknames of the rest of the bookends?
SHANE LEMIEUX: I don't think anyone else really has a nickname. Ben Bredeson is Bob. That's his nickname. Like the Bob from -- there's a Midwest burger stand called Burley Bob. I don't know. I'm from the West Coast.
Big Ev. Man, he is just a massive dude. He doesn't have a nickname. Just Big Ev. A.T., Andrew. That's my guy.
Q. How much do you talk about in the line for years the offensive line has been a weakness, and how much do you talk about taking charge and turning that around and being the people responsible for not being that way?
SHANE LEMIEUX:: In this organization we've had good offensive lines in the past. We've had (David) Diehl, Richie (Seubert), and (Shaun) O'Hara. All these guys that we as offensive linemen now and the past couple of years we've felt we need to live up to those standards and those guys to continue to play the way that they left it.
We have a great deal of respect for them. We have a great deal of pressure. I wouldn't say pressure, but we need to hold ourselves to a standard of that kind of offensive line play when they were winning Super Bowls. They're around the building, and we obviously talk to them. I know I talked to Richie, and I talked to Shaun O'Hara around the building and stuff, and we need to hold ourselves to a standard of the way that they played because that's the way you should.
Q. You probably spend a lot of time in the training room with Gates. What have you seen him going through? What has he showed you? What have you learned about him?
SHANE LEMIEUX: It's a lot of perseverance, man. The thing that he went through and you see him out here playing around, that's the energy, man. He had a really devastating injury, and I love to see him the way he has worked so far, but he is going at his pace, man, and it's been cool to see him develop from that. That's my guy.