By Greg Arias
On Sunday that reputation, and his quick temper got the better of him as he was ejected from the Tennessee Titans 47-25 win over the visiting Green Bay Packers just 4:36 into the game.
In fairness to Lewan, his actions started out and were merited when he went to the defense of his quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was the recipient of a late hit on a dead ball play by the Packers Letroy Guion.
Prior to the snap, Guion jumped off sides and was immediately flagged on the play. Rather than stopping, the 322-pound defensive tackle kept going and smashed into Mariota and knocking him to the ground.
In his rush to defend his quarterback, Lewan and Guion engaged in a verbal battle that led to the game officials intervening to restore order. During the fracas Lewan made contact with an official and was immediately flagged and disqualified.
To his credit, Lewan stood up and spoke with the media in the locker room following the game, after watching the remained of it in the locker room following his ejection.
“I play this game with a lot of passion. I play as hard as I possibly can between the whistles. I’ve said this before: I would go to war for Marcus. When I saw him hit the ground, I had my eyes on the guy that did it. I was yelling at him, I was getting in his face,” Lewan said. “The ref put his hand on my chest and apparently I moved it out of the way. I didn’t know it was the ref, and I really cost the team,” said Lewan. “I really could have done a lot more damage, had Dennis Kelly not come in and did a great job at left tackle.”
Lewan at times has had his moments when one might question his sincerity in some other situation Sunday was not one of those times.
It seemed obvious that Lewan knew he started out doing the right thing, but turned his good intention into a potentially bad situation for his team, if not for Kelly picking him up.
“I’m not happy with what happened. I’m not proud of what happened, but I will say that I play this game as hard as I in every single snap. I don’t think anyone will deny that,” concluded Lewan.. “If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times. I will never let anyone get a shot on Marcus Mariota. That’s my quarterback, that’s my teammate, and that’s my friend, most importantly.”
Teammate and offensive line leader Ben Jones spoke of Lewan’s ejection following the game.
“Taylor was protecting Marcus (Mariota) and when Marcus got hit, I didn’t see what happened,” said Jones. “I know Taylor is a fiery guy who plays hard, (and) he’s a guy we stand behind. He’s going to play hard every snap and we love to have him in there. He’s one of our best linemen we are just moving on to next week. We got the win with Dennis stepping in and he played well.”
As for Kelly, he was unfazed by the entire thing.