Home Free Agency Versatile Jermaine Eluemunor prefers staying at left guard for Giants

Versatile Jermaine Eluemunor prefers staying at left guard for Giants

by John Fennelly

Many New York Giants fans thought when the team signed veteran offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor in free agency this past March, it was to replace struggling former first-rounder Evan Neal at right tackle.

Eluemunor had just come off a solid season at right tackle for the Las Vegas Raiders under line coach Carmen Bricillo, who the Giants hired this offseason to run their mosh-mosh of an offensive line.

The thought was that the oft-injured Neal would likely have to beat Eluemunor out this summer at camp.

Not so. The Giants are standing firm on their plans to develop Neal into an NFL tackle. The loquacious veteran Eluemunor will start off at guard, which is fine with him.

“I just want to start. I just want to be out there,” Eluemunor told reporters this week a the team’s mandatory minicamp.

Before signing with the Giants, there were discussions about where he would play in New York. That must have gone well because Eluemunor is here and willing to do whatever the team needs

“For the first five years of my career, if you look back, I was in and out of the starting lineup trying to figure out how to be an NFL player. Now that I’ve had a taste of being a starter, I just want to be out there — I don’t care where it is,” he said.

“Just one of the openings they needed, and me being as flexible as I’ve been over my career, I just fell into it. I started as a left guard when I was in Baltimore before I got traded to New England. I was training to start as a left guard in Baltimore the entire off-season. So it’s nothing I’m not familiar with. If you watch my career over the last seven years you’ve seen I started left guard, left tackle, and right guard and right tackle. I can do it all. I just want to be out there.”

Does that mean he’ll play the whole season at guard? If all goes well, yes, but he’s ready for whatever his new team is going to throw at him.

“I played right tackle mainly for the last two years, so I was able to hone in on that and really craft my technique to get it where I wanted to be and where I was comfortable. So now that I’m moving to left guard, I’d rather just stay there and really hone on that position and perfect that,” he said.

“Just what I’ve learned and what I’ve been through in the NFL at right tackle shouldn’t be hard if I have to go out there. I trust the guys in the O-line room, the tackles. I believe in them and know what they’re capable of. That’s why I’ve been able to stay left guard and let them ball out over there.”

Neal is still rehabbing his surgically repaired ankle and won’t be pushed until training camp. Eluemunor is looking forward to playing on a line with some talented players.

“It’s a fun group,” he said. “I don’t count teams; this is my fourth team. I’ve been blessed to be in a lot of great offensive line rooms, and this one falls right into that.

“We have so many great guys in that room and a bunch of different personalities. I feel like the offensive line room is the best room in the NFL just because it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been; as soon as you get in that offensive line room, you’re one big family. Everyone is goofy and funny. I have so been having a lot of fun with it.”

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