Offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage doesn’t see it as a consolation prize being on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
“It’s really not a defeat (to find myself on this brigade),” said the 24-year-old Quebecer during a conference call Thursday. It’s a victory to stay here and to be able to keep improving every day.
“Coaches often remind us that there will be chances and we have to stay prepared. “
The Seahawks hired the former Université de Montréal Carabins on May 13 as an undrafted free agent.
After the camp, he was first cut off, before being signaled again.
“For a few hours, there was a doubt: yes I was cut off, but were they going to keep me on the training team?
“Of course it was stressful,” admitted the Saint-Eustache athlete. I was really happy to learn soon after that I was part of the training squad. “
Lestage took part in all three Seahawks preseason games on August 14, 21 and 28.
“In general, I would say it went well. The first preparatory game was a baptism of fire. Maybe I had done just one practice session with shoulder pads, said the six-foot-three, 312-pound colossus.
“I had a lot to catch up on. In every game I was only used in the last quarter, but I think I was able to show some good things. “
Against the Las Vegas Raiders, he experienced the first game where fans were allowed into Allegiant Stadium.
“When we got on the field, we got booed really hard,” said Lestage. After the national anthem I had a little moment where I realized, “I’m in the NFL,” but I try to keep a cool head on that.
“It’s fun but at the same time, I’m not a guy who’s an NFL fan anymore: I’m part of it. It’s my job. “
Lestage wants to focus on his chances of one day breaking into the regular roster.
“I think this is a long term project. They didn’t tell me in those words, but according to them, I have very good potential, said the guard.
“I have to continue to work hard technically and mentally, in addition to studying the game a little more.
“My goals are to be a good teammate, to provide good playing situations for the regular team. I also want to work on a bit of everything to make sure that next year I’m part of roster number 1, not the practice squad. “
Seattle won the Super Bowl in February 2014 and then suffered the big game loss in 2015.
Last year the club won 12 games but were sidelined in the first round by the Rams.
“The atmosphere is great in the organization,” said Lestage. I think it all started with Pete Carroll, who did a great job instilling his culture. We can immediately see that he is an excellent leader, who excels at what he does.
“He knows the NFL inside out. Knowing Him before you got here, now to see Him in the meetings every day and sometimes run into Him and greet Him, that’s special. It’s really fun. ”
The Seahawks’ training camp is located in Renton, a southern suburb of the city known among other things for the famous Space Needle.
“I haven’t had time to visit Seattle yet,” said Lestage. I may have been to Seattle once to play tourist a bit. Of course, I will want to do it in the next few weeks. “
The team will begin the regular season this Sunday in Indianapolis.
Lestage played three seasons with the Carabins (2017-19).
In May, he was selected 10th overall by the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL Draft.