By Spiro Kasabian @NYspawtsguy_spi
The New York Giants want to see what they have in their young, 5th Round Pick, Shane Lemieux. Joe Judge and Marc Columbo talked about wanting to get Lemieux some snaps by rotating the rookie in, the same way they have been rotating Matt Peart in. Well, with Will Hernandez getting COVID, this expedited the process. His experience gained will be invaluable down the line, but the results have been up and down.
In the run-blocking department, Lemieux has been solid. He has been a beast when pulling, as that is clearly his strong suit. Where most rookie’s need work is in pass-blocking. This is true for Shane Lemieux. A full offseason in the strength program to add more weight and muscle wont hurt next offseason either. Not to mention a better understanding of this offense and the intricacies of playing Guard in the NFL.
Sunday vs The Washington Football Team
We have to take note that Lemieux was going up against a fantastic defensive tackle in Jonathan Allen, a former first round pick, for most of the game. Not the easiest matchup for a rookie guard, to say the least. Lemieux held up very well in the run game, but the passing game is where he was exposed.
1st and 10 from their own 35; early 1st quarter. Jason Garrett dials up a Flea-Flicker. I am not sure Andrew Thomas and Shane Lemieux got the memo here. On a Flea-Flicker, you need to pretend to run block to sell the fake. Not only does Lemieux go immediately into a pass-block (signalling a pass is coming to the defender), but he blows the block and allows the sack.
This is not the position you want to be in when the guy you are supposed to be blocking is bearing down on your Quarterback. Shortly after this play, Lemieux was benched for the rest of the drive for Chris Slade.
There were also a couple of plays like the one below.
On 1st and 20 from the Redskins 49 yard-line, Lemieux got caught with his head down and out of balance. Allen ran a pretty swim-move past him and layed a hit on Daniel Jones. The pass was completed, but it was the type of play that could have resulted in a negative play or injury had the ball not gotten out of Daniel Jones’ hand quickly (a theme of the passing game on Sunday).
There were a few other plays where Lemieux ended up in Jones’ lap and caused Daniel not to be able to step into some throws. All in all, it was a rocky pass-blocking game from #66 and a solid run-blocking performance. That was similar to his performance two weeks ago in his first start. These things will happen for a younger Guard and I have confidence he will be better for it in the long run.
Calling for Lemieux to get all the snaps once Hernandez returns is a bit premature. Has Andrew Thomas looked better with Shane Lemieux by his side? Yes. I believe this has more to do with Thomas’ improvement as a player than who is playing next to him though.
We have seen some good things out of Lemieux and there is reason to be excited about his future. He might be getting another start in a big divisional matchup against the Eagles this weekend. It is another tough test for the young rookie, but another chance for him to prove himself while getting better.
I look forward to seeing if the young man can improve and earn more snaps going forward once Hernandez does return. The position battle will be something to watching over the last half of the season.