Offensive Lineman Shane Lemieux
Lemieux: Good morning guys. Good afternoon.
Q: What's it like getting some reps at center the last couple of practices?
A: It's been fun. It's definitely a challenge. It's something I've never done before. Wherever the coaches want me, I'll go out there and do it – whether its left guard, right guard, center, tackle. Whatever's best for the team.
Q: Didn't you work at center? I mean, at college, weren't you starting to cross train at center?
A: There was a little bit of experimentation, do you know what I mean? I just – I never put my hand on the ball until the first day I got here. It was more of a like, 'Hey, let's see if you can snap.' But at that time, I was learning the offense, I was learning how to play center, so it was lot. So, they said, 'Hey, just focus on guard for now.' That was that.
Q: This is deeper into training camp for you than you got last year. Does that cross your mind? Or is it hard to cross that barrier?
A: No, I think it was the first day of pads last year was the first day I hurt it. I don't think about that. Do you know what I mean? You can't go in with the mindset of ever thinking in the past or having that in the back of your mind because then you'll play slow. I'm healthy now and just working on getting better.
Q: How are you feeling? How is your knee?
A: It's good. It's good. It's just staying on top of my rehab, the stuff I've done in the off season and kind of make it right. Sticking to my routine. That was the biggest thing in this offseason was getting into a routine, making sure that my flexibility is all there, my strength is there, getting in the tubs and all of the recovery measures that I take.
Q: You aren't wearing a brace during practice?
A: Nope. No brace.
Q: So, no brace at all?
A: No. No brace.
Q: Why is that?
A: I just don't like playing with one. We've had to wear braces in practice the last two years, so I'm kind of just done with that.
Q: It was required?
A: Yeah, every O-lineman.
Q: But you still got hurt in practice, right?
A: Yeah. (laughs)
Q: The last two years, you guys had that offensive line rotation at certain positions where guys like play a series, play two series, then out a series. (Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs was saying the other day that he wants five guys. What do you prefer? What's the difference, I guess? You were part of a rotation two years ago.
A: Doesn't matter to me. I mean, 'Shane get in the game.' I'm going to go. 'Shane you're not coming out.' I'm going to listen to what the coaches say. You can't go in with the mindset of thinking about too many things especially on a game day like that. You've just got to be ready all the time.
Q: I just ask because it's always like offensive lineman need to be as one. Think as one, and be in a unit. I think it's easier for five guys to do that than eight.
A: Yeah. You know, I can't really say whether or not it has an effect on it. My rookie year, I started the year not being a starter and I had to be ready 24/7 on the sidelines. So, I know getting into a groove and stuff, but I feel like I'm at a point now that whenever they need me to go in, I can go in.
Q: Can you speak about playing next to (Tackle) Andrew (Thomas) who took a step forward? And now you have (Center) Jon (Feliciano) in there. I know Jon missed some of the summer, but he was there in the spring. Just what those guys can do, and what they bring to help you with your game?
A: Andrew, I played with him a lot in my rookie year. Last year, it was really fun seeing him take that huge step. This training camp so far, he's been playing really well. It's really fun getting to play against him because he's a really smart football player. Not a lot of people talk about that a lot with Andrew. Everyone thinks he's a super athletic, strong guy, but he's a brainiac. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he can pick up on blitzes. He's always saying, 'Hey Shane, watch this.' I'm like, 'Oh, I didn't even see that.' It's really cool to see that. Jon, obviously knowing the offense, there's just a sense of calmness with him because he knows everything that's going on. He's saying, 'Hey Shane. Come here. Come do this. Come a-block." All this kind of stuff. It's definitely a sense of calming with Jon in there, because he's been playing so long in that system.
Q: The O-line is put to the test with this defense you're going against every day. You've played against a decent amount of teams. Is this pretty unique what you have to face day-in-and-day-out?
A: Yeah, and I think it's going to make us better. (Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale) Wink's bringing everything, and obviously our D-line is – we're competing. That's a good D-line now. We're seeing the best. Hopefully that will prepare us in the future.
Q: The O-line has taken a lot of abuse in the last couple of years. Do you guys have or get a feeling that it may change this year, or you may surprise people?
A: Yeah, we don't even talk about the past. Obviously, we know what's happened. The guys have been around, we know what it's been like. We just want to put our best foot forward and go out there and show the people what we can do. Show the fans what we can do. It starts with work. We're taking it one day at a time, and we're trying to get better every single day.
Q: Does (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby Johnson coach differently? Does he ask you guys to do techniques differently or?
A: Some stuff like combos, but it's stuff that we've been working since OTAs. But by now, I think we have a better understanding, a better feel for everything he's asking us to do. The sets, I guess, are a little bit flatter, more aggressive for the guards. Tackles really aren't any different in their pass sets. But combo blocks, run blocking, footwork's a little bit different than something I've been used to. But obviously, I'm enjoying it so far, and we've had a lot of work since OTAs.
Q: How does Bobby Johnson react to good days versus bad days? What's he like with encouragement?
A: I think Bobby, what I really like about him is he's a flatline. He's the same person every single day. You're going to get – whether it's a good or it's a bad – he's going to demand a lot out of you. I don't think if we have a bad day, he's extra hard on us. I think it's the same thing, and I really respect that of him.
Q: Are there other ways off the field that Andrew Thomas is a brainiac?
A: He's a musician. He can play the drums. I think he can play the piano. He's got like a whole studio in his house where he can go and do stuff.
Q: Have you heard him?
A: No. I've heard him sing before. I've heard him sing. He had a video. I've seen it before.
Q: How's he at singing?
A: He's good. He's good. When he sang as a rookie, it was really impressive.
Q: What did he sing?
A: I can't remember what it was. There's a lot of guys, like especially me when I went up there, it's just like, 'Gosh get him off.' Andrew was just like, 'Wow, he's got a voice.' He's a musician.
Q: (Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence) Dex said yesterday that he didn't start the fight, but he finished it. Any comment?
A: No, Dex is my boy. I've got nothing to say. It's training camp. There are going to be fights. I love Dex. I love (Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams) Leo. We're boys. I'm literally right in the middle of both of them. So, I see Dex, I see Leo. I say, 'What's up?' every morning. We're teammates. I told Dex later in the day, 'We're going to make each other better.' He said, 'I know.' I said, 'We've got to keep going.' It's just competitive. In the trenches, we're leaning on each other. We're fighting each other. It's going to happen eventually. Especially on these hot days, it's going to happen. It's training camp.
Q: Is there an interesting back story behind that tattoo?
A: Which one, this one? It's a Pacific Northwest tattoo. So, this is Mount Adams in Yakima, Washington. There's nothing really significant about it. My story – my tattoos don't really have any stories to them. I just like…
Q: It's just a huge bear…
A: Yeah, I want to add on to it more too. I kind of want to make it a Pacific Northwest with like a salmon and a river and stuff.