Damione Lewis

Fan Q&A: Damione Lewis

How are the defensive dinners going, and how much is the bill? JakeThoma2
They’re going pretty good. We’re having a good time. The bill is averaging anywhere from $2,500-3,500. We split it three ways (defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs), and it’s almost 30 guys.
Has the defense ever gone to an all-you-can-eat buffet together? Aquendwato
No, we haven’t done that one yet. (laughs)

Who was your favorite player growing up? David, Charlotte
Reggie White. Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Russell Maryland, Charles Haley -- pretty much the whole Cowboys team in the early 90’s. Walter Payton. Richard Dent.

Lewis: 'Coach Davis is a Winner'

As Butch Davis takes the reins of the Tar Heel football program Monday, Inside Carolina had a lengthy conversation with one of Davis' former players -- Damione Lewis.

Damione Lewis was recruited to Miami by Butch Davis in 1995, red-shirted in 1996, and played four years for the Hurricanes - 1997-2000, earning first-team All-Big East honors as a defensive tackle. He was the 12th pick in the 2001 draft and is now in his sixth NFL season, playing for the Carolina Panthers.

Inside Carolina: How would you describe Butch Davis’ interaction with his players?

Damione Lewis: I think he’s a great player’s coach. I mean he is going have them give them everything he has to make sure they are successful. And, he’s going to work with them and just try to get the most out of them. I think they’ll love him down there. First, I think they are probably not going to like him too much because he’s going to be hard on them until he gets them playing the way he wants them to. But, it’s all out of love.

Rams days forgettable for Panthers' Lewis - Defensive tackle happy in role as rush specialist

Had Damione Lewis been drafted a round later or in a different year, he might have had a long and prosperous career with the St. Louis Rams.

He could have been a centerpiece of the St. Louis defense on Sunday when the Rams play the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. But bad timing, huge expectations and coaching changes pushed Lewis out of St. Louis and helped prevent him from becoming the dominant force that was expected.

Instead, Lewis is a role player for the Panthers these days and he couldn't be happier.


Damione Lewis Update

On defensive tackle Damione Lewis: He's a guy that we picked up in free agency (from St. Louis). He came out (of college) very highly touted. Things haven't gone just like I think he had planned. He's come here and gotten a breath of fresh air. Coming in for us, he's been playing our third tackle. He's a quick guy with good pass rush skills. It's a dimension that we've needed, and we feel like he's filled that for us.


Damione Lewis comments on Butch Davis to UNC

Defensive tackle Damione Lewis gave the University of North Carolina a big thumbs-up for hiring coach Butch Davis. "He's going to demand a lot from them," said Lewis, who played for Davis at the University of Miami. "He's going to really work them and take their work ethic to a whole new level. He's a great guy to play for. If you do what he asks, he'll take care of you."


Defense's Lewis quickly delivers for the Panthers

Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis share the same position. Kemoeatu starts for Carolina at left defensive tackle and, when an opponent is likely to pass, Lewis replaces him.

What's the difference between the two?

"Forty or 50 pounds," says defensive end Mike Rucker.

The cool thing about the NFL is that you can be 6-foot-2, weigh 301 pounds and be the little fast guy. Lewis is second on the Panthers in sacks (he has two; Julius Peppers leads with five). And he's one of four Panthers to force a fumble.

"The difference between Maake and

D Lew Delightful so far

In terms of girth, the Panthers biggest signing on the defensive line this past offseason was tackle Maake Kemoeatu. In terms of sacks, however, it has been Damione Lewis. Through four games, Lewis ranks fourth in the NFL with two sacks, and he has also contributed 12 tackles (two for loss), one forced fumble and two batted passes.

He looks comfortable on the field, which usually translates into discomfort for quarterbacks and offensive linemen. His inspired start has belied his first five years in St. Louis, where he never quite lived up to the potential of being the 12th overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He says the approach of the Carolina coaching staff has made all the difference in the world.


Damione Lewis Update

Damione Lewis Carolina tackle Damione Lewis continues to make plays when he gets into the lineup. He forced a fumble and defended two passes.