Wednesday, June 29 2022

In this November 29, 2020 photo, Cleveland Browns safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (33) wears a Salute to Service headband during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. Browns center and players union president JC Tretter believes Kansas City assistant coach Greg Lewis should be disciplined for his role in a touchdown skirmish with Harrison Jr. in Sunday’s game. Harrison was ejected after forcefully pushing Lewis, who shoved off the Browns’ safety when he came to help the Chiefs escape lyde Edwards-Helaire. (AP Photo / Gary McCullough)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) – Browns center JC Tretter believes Kansas City assistant coach Greg Lewis should be disciplined by the NFL for his role in a sideline skirmish with Cleveland safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. on Sunday .

Harrison was kicked out of Cleveland’s 33-29 first quarter loss after forcefully pushing Lewis, who pushed the Browns’ safety after coming to help the Chiefs run Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Tretter, the president of the NFL players’ union, did not condone Harrison’s behavior, but said Lewis must be held accountable by the league for his actions.

“I expect the coach to be held to the same level – if not a higher standard – than Ronnie,” Tretter said on a Zoom call. “To be the first there and to be a coach, to get hold of an opposing player.

“I don’t think there is a place for that in this league.”

An NFL spokesperson said the incident was being investigated and Harrison would not be suspended.

He will likely be fined.

After gaining 11 yards, Edwards-Helaire was tackled on the Kansas City sideline by Harrison and linebacker Mack Wilson. With Edwards-Helaire on the ground, Harrison was standing above him as Lewis, the team’s running backs coach, approached and pushed Harrison away.

Cleveland security retaliated with a high thrust in Lewis’s neck area that tipped his helmet askew.

The Kansas City bench was originally called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Following a review, officials threw out Harrison, with the sacking costing the Browns one of their best defensive players.

Lewis was allowed to sit on the sidelines, which did not suit the Browns.

“He should be treated the same as our players,” said All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett. “He should be knocked out just like Ronnie.”

Either way, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Harrison needed to exercise better judgment.

“It’s the oldest thing in football: match officials always see the second guy,” Stefanski said. “And Ronnie needs to be calm and not hit back.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid was not asked about a possible discipline for Lewis on Monday. After the match, he defended his assistant.

“You don’t do that on our sideline, you don’t do that to our guys, at the end of the day,” he said.

Tretter saw it differently, Harrison and Lewis being wrong.

“Obviously, Ronnie can’t fight back,” he said. “But we can’t let opposing coaches get hold of opposing players. We can’t have it.

Tretter pointed out that coaches are no longer allowed to take the field for injuries due to an incident between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals a few years ago. He added that the league’s emphasis on the taunt rule this season is designed to minimize the risk of retaliation.

Stefanski wasn’t pointing the finger, but he doesn’t think Harrison intended to step on Edwards-Helaire.

“I think any contact from Ronnie was accidental,” Stefanski said. “If you watch the tape it’s pretty obvious he bumps into him as he tries to get out of their border

“But that doesn’t excuse him for retaliating. You can not do this. It’s something we all know, that match officials will see the second guy not the first guy.


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