At 5-foot-8, 195 pounds, Dion Lewis is a smallish NFL running back. The 29-year-old, though, has a reputation around the league as a quality pass blocker. Why has Lewis been successful keeping bigger, stronger men off his quarterback?
Lewis offered a simple explanation via videoconference on Tuesday evening.
“I don’t want to get embarrassed,” he said.
“I just try to be a complete player. Obviously, I’m limited in some things I can do. I just try to work hard at everything and try to do what I can do best. Pass protection is something that took me a while to learn. The longer you do it, the more reps you get at it, the better you become. I think I am extremely confident in that. Just try to use my technique and use my leverage and things like that to overcome some of the other obstacles I have. I just look at it as a two-and-a-half to three-second fight. Try not to get beat inside, that’s the way I look at it and that’s my mentality.”
The Giants signed the veteran running back during the offseason to be the primary backup for Saquon Barkley. In a career that has seen him play for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, Lewis has been around some great players. Barkley has impressed him.
“He’s a great player and he’s a great person. We clicked right off the bat,” Lewis said. “I like the way he works, he works really hard, he’s competitive and he’s a humble person. He wants to get better every day. I like the way he works.”
Lewis will be 30 in September. He has 538 rushing attempts, 172 receptions and 57 regular-season kickoff returns on his resume. His per carry average slid under 4.0 yards per carry the past two seasons while he was with the Titans, the only times in his career that has happened.
“I work hard, so I don’t look at myself as losing a step. I work really hard in the offseason and try to keep up with the young guys,” Lewis said. “I feel pretty good out there, but I have to keep coming to work every day and proving myself like everybody else.”