BEREA, Ohio -- When opportunity knocks, new Cleveland Browns running back
And an opportunity is exactly what Lewis felt he received when the Browns sent linebacker Emmanuel Acho to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for him. With the new opportunity, Lewis entered training camp with a point to prove.
“I’m excited to be here and excited to show these coaches what I’m able to do,” Lewis said. “I just wanted to come in and compete, come in here and compete and learn as much as I can and try to be a part of this team. There’s definitely room for improvement, but I feel like I’ve picked things up pretty fast and limited some mistakes.
“When I got traded, I was just looking at it and thinking of it as a good opportunity for me, a fresh start and a way to come in and compete. I was definitely excited to get here, just be a part of the team and try to make an impact.”
Lewis has shown a penchant for being an impact player.
In two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, Lewis rushed for 2,860 yards and finished fourth on the school’s all-time list. He also tallied the most rushing yards (1,799), most touchdowns (18), and most points scored (108) by a freshman in the Pittsburgh’s history.
Lewis set the mark for the most rushing yards in the first two years of a career (2,860), and tied for the sixth-longest run from scrimmage in school history with an 85-yard carry against Buffalo in 2009. He also rushed for 261 yards against Cincinnati in 2010, the seventh-best single-game total ever by a Panther.
“I was just comfortable,” Lewis said. “Being comfortable and confident, that’s a big thing. At Pitt, I knew everything I was doing. I was playing fast, didn’t have to think. I knew the playbook like it was nothing. I’m just trying to get that here. I am confident now, but I’m trying to get back to not even thinking and just playing.
“I don’t really sit back and look at what I did in the past. The only thing that matters is what you’re going to do now. What can you do for me now? That’s how I approach everything, just not worry about the past and just try to prolong the present and the future.”
Finding a comfort level was one of Lewis’ biggest challenges after joining the Browns prior to the draft, but once he mastered the terminology, Lewis found his confidence and is ready to build upon game experience.
“He’s had a good camp,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “He’s really showing a lot. He’s been a playmaker and shows good vision, running skills, good demonstration of catching the ball, so, I’m looking forward to seeing him in the game. We are working him on special teams as a kick returner, as well. I am excited to see what he does.”