CLEVELAND -- Following a social-media post featuring a carton depiction of the graphic assault of a law-enforcement officer in response to police-involved shootings across the country, Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell faced backlash and criticism from media, fans and the organization.
After addressing the topic on the first day of training camp, Crowell has focused on having the best season of his young NFL career, and thus far, the results have been positive. Through the first four games of the season, Crowell has gained 394 yards and scored three touchdowns on 61 carries.
“Personally, I can’t tell you the turmoil that he went through other than what he shared, but I know he was very remorseful about what happened,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “I know that he wanted to do everything he could to make amends.
“I think that he has done everything that has been asked of him, everything that has been expected of him and more. I think it wasn’t any issue of him wanting to do that. I think that is what he wanted to do it right.
“It was a tough time. A young man made a mistake. We all truly believed that he made a tremendous mistake, and I thought he saw that and he has tried to make amends for it, and I think he has tried to do the right thing since then.”
When the early-July post, which was quickly deleted from Crowell’s Instagram account, was reported in the mainstream media, Jackson said “it was concerning” to have a player on the roster who would encourage violence against law enforcement.
“He called me,” Jackson said. “That made a difference to me as far as just I could tell that he knew that he khad crossed a line and did something that was wrong. To me, that is the first sign. I didn’t have to chase the player. The player chased me to let me know that he had made a huge mistake in judgement.
“I know we all make mistakes sometimes and there are mistakes that are unforgivable, and there are some that you work through. I think it was a legitimate mistake by him. I think he has owned up to that, he has taken responsibility for it and he has done the right thing since then.”
Including an 85-yard touchdown run, Crowell scampered for 133 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries in a 25-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium last month. As a follow-up, Crowell rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries in the overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. He went on to add 120 yards and one touchdown in a loss at Washington last Sunday.
And Crowell aims to keep the good times going against the New England Patriots at FirstEnergy Stadium this afternoon.
“I feel like just the rhythm,” Crowell said. “I feel like I’m in a good rhythm in the game, and I feel like that’s where it comes from. I don’t feel like it is anything different that I’m doing.
“I said I wanted 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, but like Hue said, ‘Why not more?’ So I’m with him.”