Jermaine Eluemunor is squarely in the mix for a starting job on the Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive line this year and he points to a re-dedication of himself to the game and his overall health for helping him.
Eluemunor, 27, is entering his sixth NFL season and has 14 starts. He has worked with the first team some at right tackle and has also worked at guard in the preseason. Eluemunor, who started eight games in New England (with the new Las Vegas brass) in 2020, is excited about his new lease on his career and this opportunity with Las Vegas, where he he played 14 games with three starts in 2021.
“The clean slate was especially good for me because I feel like the last five years my career I kind of just wasn’t as serious as I should’ve been, whether it was nutrition, weight, mentality, I wasn’t all in,” Eluemunor recently said. “Josh [McDaniels] coming, knowing who I was and who I am, I’ve benefitted a lot from that. Just being able to recreate myself this year and create the type of player I am and person I am has been really good for me. Then to have him and Dave [Zeigler] here and just show me how confident they are in me and what I can do and just keep pushing me forward has been really dope.”
Eluemunor said a big part of his new approach was to work on his nutrition and overall fitness. Eluemunor, who is 6-foot-4, 345 pounds, says the difference the impact that his focus on his health has made
“It’s funny because if you watch my tape from when I was in New England, my set, it looks like I’m just a big blob really trying to force myself back there,” he said. “Now, I’m having to slow down because I’m a lot quicker than I used to be. I lost a lot of weight because I used to be real plump. So yeah, I definitely feel the difference out there. Then also when it comes to conditioning too, I’m able to go on 13, 14 , 15 play drives and although I’m somewhat tired, I’m not as tired as I used to be coming to the sideline needing an (oxygen) tank to get me going again. So, it has definitely been beneficial.”
It will be interesting to see if Eluemunor starts at right tackle in the Raiders’ preseason finale on Friday night. If he does, it could go a long way toward him being in the starting lineup Week 1 at the Los Angeles Chargers.
Eluemunor is more comfortable at tackle, but in the end. he just wants a chance to help the Raiders.
“I have my preference obviously. I love tackle, but if something happens in the middle of the season and they’re like, ‘Jermaine, we need you to slide in at guard,’ I think I would be perfectly fine in there because I started out at guard in Baltimore and then got moved out to tackle later in the year,” Eluemunor said. “I pride myself in being able to play both positions and hopefully playing them at a high level.”
Whatever happens, it’s starting to look like Eluemunor is going to have a role on this offense somewhere and at some point this season.