The Cleveland Browns want the NFL to respond after a Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach got into a shoving match with safety Ronnie Harrison in the first quarter on Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium.
After making a tackle of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Harrison remained on top of the Chiefs’ running back, surrounded by players from both teams. The assistant, identified as Greg Lewis, pushed Harrison in an effort to get him off. Harrison responded with a hard push to Lewis’ neck, knocking his headset off. After a short discussion, the refs reversed the initial unsportsmanlike flag on the Chiefs and called it on Harrison, resulting in his ejection.
Rules official Gene Steratore said on the broadcast it wasn’t like anything he had seen before and the ejection left the Browns in quite the bind. With backup safety Grant Delpit also out, the Browns relied on converted cornerback MJ Stewart.
Browns Admit Harrison Can’t Retaliate
While none of the Browns defended Harrison’s actions, the team felt the punishment should have been mutual, with the Chiefs coach also earning an ejection.
“Ronnie can’t retaliate,” Browns center and NFLPA president JC Tretter said. “You can’t be the second one in those instances. You’re always going to get called for that. But we can’t have opposing coaches putting their hands on opposing players.”
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett had a similar sentiment to Tretter.
“I didn’t see it when it happened,” Garrett said. “I was just trying to get my guy out of there, because I saw he was tangled up and I saw him getting pushed and he pushed and I was like, ‘We don’t need any of that for our team, we’ve got to be smarter than that.’ Tried to get him out of the situation. He should get the same treatment that our players get, he should be tossed out of the game just like Ronnie.”
Tretter: No Room For That in League
Tretter pointed out that there have been rule changes made to reduce incidents like what happened between Harrison and the Chiefs coach. He called for discipline of Lewis because he should be held to a higher standard than even Harrison is.
“I would expect that the coach gets held to the same standard if not a higher standard than Ronnie, being the first one in there and being a coach, putting his hands on an opposing player, I don’t think there’s any room for that in this league,” Tretter said.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid also shared his point of view on the incident and thought that Harrison was lingering too long on top of his player following the play.
“So the fellow that was involved with it came over and he was on the chest of our player and that’s what happened,” Reid said after the game. “So, he (Lewis) was trying to get him (Harrison) off and he didn’t want to get off, so he kind of just lifted him a little bit and then he got hit. But he was there to help get that fellow who was leaning on our guy.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he’d keep any discipline internal for Harrison. The league is expected to review the incident on Monday and announce the discipline shortly after.