The idea: Get in touch with Rich Seubert to ask him if he is familiar with Shane Lemieux, currently lining up as the Giants’ starting left guard.
Seubert was the starting left guard on the Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl team, renowned for his toughness and do-anything-to-get-it-done zeal on the field. It seems as if Lemieux has some of these same qualities.
So, the call goes out, Seubert responds and is told there is something about this young offensive lineman that reminds this inside observer of him.
The reaction is immediate.
“Did he start a fight in practice yet?’’ Seubert asks.
Well, as a matter of fact, yes. Lemieux was the instigator of the first scuffle of training camp this summer, mixing it up on Day 4 with defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams.
“See, there you go,’’ Seubert said, approvingly.
Altercations with teammates amid the heat of camp were Seubert’s speciality. He was undrafted out of small-school Western Illinois, yet backed down from no one, ever, be it Keith Hamilton — called “Hammer’’ for a reason — or established sack-artist Michael Strahan.
Fisticuffs, though, did not keep Seubert with the Giants for 10 years. He started every game in 2002, his second season, but a horrific injury mangled his right leg. That nearly ended his career, forced him to miss the entire 2004 season and relegated him to four games of backup duty in 2005. Seubert never stopped pushing forward and regained his starting job for the 2007 championship team. In 2010, he started every game at center and former general manager Jerry Reese called him the MVP of the team. In his final game that season, he suffered another serious injury — a dislocated right kneecap and torn patellar tendon — and never played another game.
“That’s the first thing I heard when I got here, he was the epitome of toughness,’’ Lemieux told The Post, referring to Seubert. “And if you’re seeing that in me, that’s a good honor for me, because he’s a hard-nosed guy, from everything I’ve heard.’’
The two have spoken and texted, but not often. Unlike Seubert, Lemieux was drafted, going in the fifth round in 2020 out of Oregon. The Joe Judge-led coaching staff became enamored with Lemieux as a run-blocking presence and he started nine games as a rookie. At times he was indeed a punisher in the ground game, but his pass protection was rough around the edges.
Like Seubert, Lemieux encountered adversity early in his career. He started the 2021 season opener despite dealing with discomfort in his left knee. He realized he could not continue and spent the rest of his Year 2 on injured reserve after surgery to repair his patellar tendon.
The new front office used a 2022 third-round pick on guard Josh Ezeudu out of North Carolina, but thus far Lemieux has mostly lined up with the first team. Dealing with Lawrence and star-of-camp Williams has been a challenge that at times has not gone well. Because Jon Feliciano has missed time dealing with heat-related issues, Lemieux has also taken reps with the starters at center — another possible looming similarity with Seubert.
“I think every single coach I’ve ever been with has told me center is probably gonna be in my future,’’ Lemieux said. “They say I have a lot of traits that are good for a center. Versatility is the name of the game. You look at [former Giants offensive lineman] David Diehl, he played everywhere, except center. Richie played both.’’
Lemieux, 25, might be part of a building offensive line. There are the young bookend tackles, Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal. Mark Glowinski, 30, was signed to start at right guard. Feliciano, 30, only has a one-year deal. If he develops and stays healthy, Lemieux could be a fixture at guard or center.
“Ever since I went to Oregon, I was a three star, two star [recruit], I’ve always had to work,’’ Lemieux said. “I never had that in my mind that ‘Hey, I made it, I’m the starter, I don’t have any worries.’ Everyone always says ‘Be confident’ but you’re always looking back. I feel everything I’ve had in my career I’ve had to fight tooth and nail for it. That’s just kind of in my DNA.’’
Brian Daboll, the first-year head coach and former offensive coordinator in Buffalo, said the Bills liked Lemieux coming out of the draft two years ago and compliments him for playing with “a nasty edge.’’
Seubert, now 43 and the head football coach at Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, N.J., might as well have had “nasty edge’’ tattooed on his arms.
“If he reminds you of me he must have some fight in his ass, right?’’ Seubert said. “He might not be the best athletic person on that field but he’s got the grit to make up for it. When you watch him play he likes to get after it. He’s got a little bit of that good anger in him.’’
Good anger kept Seubert in blue for a decade. Lemieux is fighting for his shot.