n what might have been the most anticipatory press conference for a running backs coach in the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs coach Greg Lewis spoke with the media on Wednesday, September 23 for the first time since his shoving match with Cleveland Browns safety Ronnie Harrison in Week 1.
Lewis gave his take on the situation that resulted in a fine for him and an ejection and fine for Harrison.
“I lost my cool, emotionally I got involved in the game that I shouldn’t be — my purpose was to get my guy out of the situation — as a parent, I need to be a better example and defused the situation,” Lewis said via, Harold R. Kuntz of Fox 4 News. “It something that shouldn’t have been a part – but it happened. I’ve moved on from it…from that standpoint, it’s not going to happen again from me.”
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Lewis on CEH Fumble: Protect the Ball
Lewis was also asked about running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s costly fumble against the Ravens and elaborated on what the second-year back, as well as his teammates, can learn from the situation.
“What we can all learn and obviously Clyde was in that situation is that we have to protect the ball. Clyde knows that, the whole team understands the situation that took place,” he said. “He did have the ball high and tight; the guy made a play, and we didn’t secure the ball. If 12 people tackle him, I don’t care, nobody cares in that situation and in really all situations, the ball must be secured. That’s pretty much what I told him, and he understands it and we move forward with that.
“We’re working diligently everyday with everybody involved whether it’s running backs, tight ends, receivers, quarterbacks. Whoever is touching the ball from the defensive standpoint, ball security is of the upmost importance. We preach it every day, and it was an unfortunate deal that happened. We know it can’t happen and Clyde knows it can’t happen. We’re past that game and we’re moving on to the Chargers.”
Early in the Chiefs’ 33-29 victory in Week 1 over the Browns, an ejection took place. After a play along Kansas City’s sideline, Harrison was stepping on a Chiefs player, which prompted Lewis to push Harrison aside so his player could get off the ground. Harrison reacted to the push by shoving Lewis around the throat, which prompted the officials — after initially calling a penalty on the Chiefs’ sideline — to call offsetting penalties while also electing to eject Harrison from the game.
Coaches Perspectives on Situation
After the game, head coach Andy Reid was asked about the altercation and gave his side of the story.
“Yeah, 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 explained. “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. That’s why there was a penalty, right? So, the officials fixed it, which I thought was important. You don’t do that on our sideline, you don’t do that to our guys, bottom line.”
Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski’s perspective on the situation was a little different, but still didn’t believe how Harrison reacted was okay.
“I do think that any contact that came from Ronnie was incidental,’’ Stefanski said, per Cleveland.com. “If you watch the tape, it’s pretty obvious that he’s getting collisioned as he’s trying to get off of their boundary, but that doesn’t excuse him from retaliating. You can’t do that. That’s something we all know, that the game officials will see the second guy not the first guy.’’
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