CLEVELAND, Ohio– As Isaiah Crowell rubbed the football upon his backside following his second touchdown run on Thursday night, so too did he rub a couple of people on the field the wrong way.
His on-field boss, Jets head coach Todd Bowles, was definitely one of those people.
“That was inexcusable,” Bowles said of Crowell’s act, that allowed the Browns better field position on the ensuing kickoff thanks to the penalty. “We addressed it and it will never happen again.”
Crowell, the former Cleveland Browns running back who signed with the Jets as a free-agent this offseason, faced his bottom towards the crowd and rubbed the football up and down it, receiving a 15-yard penalty as the Jets took a 13-0 lead in the second quarter.
Though it would appear Crowell was showing disdain for his former home crowd at FirstEnergy Stadium, when asked about the gesture following Cleveland’s 21-17 win over the Jets, the running back refuted that notion.
“It was just passion,” Crowell said. “I’ve just got to control myself. I don’t feel like it had anything to do with the stadium I was at. I just feel like it was spur of the moment.”
The running back indicated as well that, in the heat of the moment, he probably would’ve pulled the maneuver at any NFL stadium.
Crowell’s former signal-caller, Browns head coach Hue Jackson, didn’t see the gesture as it took place, likely with his mind elsewhere with his team facing a two-touchdown deficit.
His players, including plenty of Crowell’s former teammates, however, took plenty of notice.
“Yes, they were,” Jackson said, when asked if his players were motivated after Crowell’s display. “Somebody told me they did not think it was professional.”
Whether the incident sparked a jolt in the Browns or not, when the game came to a close, there weren’t any hard feelings on the Cleveland sideline.
Well, no hard feelings at least on the part of the head coach.
“I told him he is doing a good job and I am proud of him,” Jackson said. “I just think sometimes the emotions of the game and guys will do that from time to time.”
Crowell agreed when it came to the passion and emotion, but still doesn’t want to let those same feelings cost his team as they did on Thursday night.
“You’ve got to play the game with passion,” Crowell said. “That’s how you have to play. I did it so I have to sit with whatever comes with it, but I know I can’t do my teammates like that.”