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Taylor Lewan: Jadeveon Clowney hit wasn’t my fault

clowneymichigan Getty Images

Two future first-round draft picks squared off when Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan faced South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at the 2013 Outback Bowl. But Lewan wants it known that he’s not to blame for the most famous play from that game, Clowney’s brutal hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith.

Lewan said at the Scouting Combine that Clowney was the best player he ever played against, but that members of the media who talk about that one play misunderstand what happened. According to Lewan, the play called for he and the guard to double team the linebacker, and Clowney wasn’t Lewan’s responsibility.

“You can only control what you can control and whatever ESPN or NFL Network wants to put on their air is up to them,” Lewan said. “It was not my fault. I hate to say it like that because it’s like I am blaming other people, but it was a double-team between me and the guard on the backside linebacker. He just went unblocked. At the same time, whether he was unblocked or not, that was one hell of a hit.”

For people who want a fuller picture, there are videos that show dozens of plays on which Lewan blocked Clowney. Sometimes when they matched up Lewan got the better of the battle, and other times Clowney did. But there was no battle to be had on Clowney’s hit on Smith. That play, Clowney went untouched.

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31 Responses to “Taylor Lewan: Jadeveon Clowney hit wasn’t my fault”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 26, 2014 11:11 AM

    Is it just me or did that hit catapult Clowney into the concensus #1 overall pick talk.

    If you watch that game Lewan owned him too most of the game.

  2. touchdownroddywhite says: Feb 26, 2014 11:13 AM

    That was a dream hit for defenders. Just a free, uninhibited shot at a guy when you’ve got some steam built up…

  3. erock27 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:14 AM

    Dont block clowney . Very good run scheme

  4. isphet71 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:15 AM

    That was a great call by the Michigan Offensive Coordinator to leave Clowney unblocked on such a crucial play at the end of the game.

    Sigh.

    Grats to Clowney for taking advantage of an opportunity handed to him on a silver platter.

  5. Phil says: Feb 26, 2014 11:16 AM

    If you’re judging a player’s NFL stock based on one play, no matter how good or bad, you probably shouldn’t have anything to do with drafting players.

    By the way…how many tackles did Clowney have during that game? Two?

    Not dissing on Clowney, just keeping it real

  6. cfballfan1 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:17 AM

    Lewan is more overrated than Clowney by a country mile, and this is just another sad excuse to cover up that fact.

    Maybe he can explain how he was beat like a drum by William Gholston in 2012 and then by Shilique Calhoun in 2013.

  7. scfan36 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:18 AM

    He was already a consensus top pick after finishing 6th in the Heisman voting that season and winning SEC DPOY. Funny how people either forget about that or just know nothing, and spout off about how that was his only great play.

  8. raiderufan says: Feb 26, 2014 11:23 AM

    Clowney was the RG’s guy. It’s called a trap block….the RG just whiffed.

    Trying to get a completely unathletic RG over to trap Clowney was foolish on the OC’s part and whiffing on Clowney all together almost got the RB killed….but Lewan is right, it wasn’t his man.

  9. pftfan says: Feb 26, 2014 11:28 AM

    Lewan said: “It was not my fault. I hate to say it like that because it’s like I am blaming other people…”

    It sounds like you are blaming other people because you ARE blaming other people.

    Why did Lewan have to say any of this to begin with? He’s the leader of the UM O-Line and regardless of whether it was his assignment or not, he should’ve just owned up as a group failure and just let the tape absolve him, instead of levying fault.

    All this does is make him sound like a whiny guy who’ll throw the guys he led under the bus to move up one or two slots.

  10. floratiotime says: Feb 26, 2014 11:28 AM

    Way to lay someone out at the Combine. Nothing dickish about that.

  11. truninerfan49 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:35 AM

    I’m sure that makes Vincent Smith feel better

  12. mezanine10 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:38 AM

    The people who are in love with Clowney for one play are the same people who think Vick is a good QB b/c he made some highlight reel plays. All window dressing. These people might as well be watching games with their girlfriends.

  13. chalkruz1989 says: Feb 26, 2014 11:41 AM

    I am frustrated about the commotion with Jadaveon Clowney for one reason.

    He should have amassed more than 10 sacks this season, not three. His motor is questionable and Steve Spurrier has openly questioned his work ethic.

    Best of luck to him, but if he thinks his talent will get him to star status in the pros, he has a 300 plus pound linemen waiting to prove him otherwise.

  14. jimmymfb says: Feb 26, 2014 11:42 AM

    Yeah, that’s a missed block on the RG. Took his time getting over there to trap clowney.

  15. spartyownsyou says: Feb 26, 2014 11:51 AM

    Taylor Lewan is Richie Incognito 2.0. He’s a complete scumbag and probably the dirtiest player I’ve ever seen in college football. If you have any doubt whatsoever about this all you need to do is watch the Michigan vs. Michigan State game from November 2nd of last year. He’s constantly grabbing opposing players facemasks after the play and twisting their heads around and doing all kinds of other outlandish garbage. The refs had at least 3 different talks with him about his disgustingly dirty play but for some unknown reason they didn’t eject him from the game. Both commentators of the game agreed that he should have been kicked out.
    By the way Michigan State won 29-6

  16. greysolon says: Feb 26, 2014 11:56 AM

    That play and that game pretty much defines Clowney.

    He was unblocked but the explosiveness is there for all to see– He blasts through that gap big time.

    But overall he seems to me more an outstanding physical specimen. He doesn’t seem to have great football sense.

  17. chrisk61 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:05 PM

    clowney should be avoided at the top of the draft. i would make an analogy to vontaze burfict. but for different reasons. clowney is an immature narcissist.

    clowney, manziel and bridgewater are all risky top of the draft picks. the safer and smarter money goes with khalil mack for def player and blake bortles for qb.

  18. DonKellyBaby says: Feb 26, 2014 12:05 PM

    People crack me up.

    75% of NFL Fans are already saying Clowney is going to be a bust and a flop, and in 5 years if he’s the best DE in the league they’ll be all over him.

    Just like when Ndamukong Suh was at Nebraska and ripping off Colt McCoy’s head and everyone was cheering his name. Now, Suh is one of the most hated players in the NFL and he hasn’t switched his game up from college to the pros.

  19. chiadam says: Feb 26, 2014 12:09 PM

    They needed a guard and a LT to double a LB? OK.

  20. taintedsaints2009 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:41 PM

    It’s the only meaningful thing clowney did in college, and it was a broken play.

  21. chris6523 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:58 PM

    Fact of the matter is both of these players greatly increased their draft stock on that day. Lewan because of the overall game he played against Clowney and Clowney because of a big hit he made because he was unblocked.

    Yes, Clowney is off the charts as far as his athleticism. If Clowney fails to live up to his billing, will he be the first freak athlete to do so? Hell no. Audray Bruce, Tony Mandarich, Quentin Coryatt, Johnny Mitchell, Marvin Jones, Blair Thomas, Mike Mamula,………………………….

  22. henryjones20 says: Feb 26, 2014 1:01 PM

    kinda in shock how many ppl dislike Clowney in this post.smh Lewan is the one who comes off as a me 1st type guy in this.Didnt he also blame a rape victim recently while defending his teammate the kicker?

  23. gobuccs1280 says: Feb 26, 2014 1:11 PM

    Watching the film, Clowney probably should have been the TE’s or the FB’s. He was outside the tackle on a counter to the TE side, and would have been an easy wash for the TE. He crossed both the TE’s and FB’s face on the way to the hit, and a darn good hit it was. So technically he is right, there should have been a double team with the G, on the DT up to the back side backer.

  24. canadianbucsfan says: Feb 26, 2014 1:33 PM

    Clowney needs to go to an older team that has strong leadership. Needs defensive lineman around him that will help him learn to be a professional. Clowneys effort on gameday, supposedly bad practice habits and his questionable love for the game, are all huge concerns. I think he might be the next Vernon Gholston..

  25. kayakattack says: Feb 26, 2014 1:48 PM

    Clowney is going to get eaten up in the NFL… just the thought of him playing against Luke Joeckel, Anthony Constanzo and Michael Roos twice a year should make him really nervous .. I think all three of them would make easy work of him, no matter how fast he is in underwear

  26. cutlers05 says: Feb 26, 2014 1:49 PM

    Maybe the OC at the time thought that Clowney was going to take the play off at that time, and they could get away with one. Just sayin

  27. hyzers says: Feb 26, 2014 1:52 PM

    omg Clowney is liek the best player ever did you see him hit the rb really hard on that one play? #1 pick overall 4 sure dude

  28. kayakattack says: Feb 26, 2014 1:53 PM

    His tape is so bad, he does not line up right half the time, he takes more than half of the plays off, he plays against the weaker tackles, he loses the ball carrier and his body (especially his footwork) is out of position on almost every play.. he may be a freak athlete, and that works in college, but he needs a lot of work and he has to be willing to put in the time or he will never live up to the potential, hence why he rubs people the wrong way, he could be the best DE to ever play the game if he would bring it, but that remains to be seen.

  29. lionsdraftguy says: Feb 26, 2014 1:59 PM

    What about when Shilique Calhoun owned you? Not your fault neither?

  30. tanstewie says: Feb 26, 2014 2:00 PM

    Lewan is a beast..6’8 and 309 lbs n dude ran a 4.8???? He’s a dirty nasty player n I hate him cuz he’s from UM but hes gonna be a 12 year starter for whomever drafts him.

  31. spartyownsyou says: Feb 26, 2014 2:29 PM

    Lewan’s other hobbies include witness intimidation and assault. Google it because for some reason they won’t let me talk about it here.
    And yes, as stated above by lionsdraftguy, Shilique Calhoun absolutely owned him when they played Michigan State.

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