Getting signed as an undrafted free agent wasn’t the exact dream scenario for former Oklahoma State linebacker Shaun Lewis, but you won’t hear him complain.
The Green Bay Packers announced June 10 they signed Lewis to a three-year deal for the rookie minimum of $420,000 per year. Now Lewis, a two-time All-Big 12 performer, is fighting to make Green Bay’s roster.
Thursday, Lewis talked with The Oklahoman about getting signed and transitioning to the NFL.
Q: How’s it feel to get a chance with a pro team?
A: “It’s definitely a blessing. I’m just grateful for the opportunity. I just really want to thank the Packers for picking me up and believing in my abilities and giving me a shot. I’m just taking it and running with it.”
What exactly do you think they saw from you that made them give you a shot?
“I played at one of the best universities in the country for four years, and I was a four-year starter. I made plays in the Big 12 for four years. That production alone gave them reason to bring me up here, but there’s no telling. They probably saw something in me that I don’t even know I have yet. Now it’s a matter of just bringing a worker’s mentality to practice every day.”
Is there anything that has been surprising to you about pro camp?
“The biggest surprise to me was just how down to earth the players are here. You have to commend the Packers for creating an environment where the players become almost like brothers here and they bring in new players with open arms. They really take them under their wings and help them adapt to the game.
“You figure you go into a pro locker room where guys are competing, no one would want to help the young guys out, but that’s not the case. There’s been all kinds of older guys helping you out. If you’re struggling with something they help you adapt going from a college program to an NFL organization. That’s definitely the biggest surprise for me.”
Who specifically has helped you out?
“Really two guys, Sam Barrington and A.J. Hawk have helped me out. Brad Jones has said some things to me. And (linebackers coach Scott) McCurley is an awesome coach, and he’s breaking things down for me and making things a lot easier for me.”
What is your plan for the rest of the summer?
“I plan to go back to Oklahoma State for a few weeks and work out there, then head back to Houston and work out at the training facility and get ready to amp it up for training camp.”
What do you think your role is going to be?
“I know special teams, I’m going to compete my butt off to make the roster for special teams. And just come to practice every day. Whatever they ask me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I want to put myself in the best position to make the team and just give it everything I’ve got. I’m just grateful to be here.”