Antonio Brown

Submitted by on Sep 26, 2015

Spencer Lanning discusses fallout from Antonio Brown kick in 2014

Antonio Brown attempts to hurdle Spencer Lanning of the Cleveland Browns and gets an unnecessary roughness penalty during the second quarter. (Gregory Shamus, Getty Images )

Yes, he knows the first thing you probably thought of when you heard the Broncos claimed him off waivers was that infamous kick-to-face he took from Antonio Brown last September.

Spencer Lanning, the former Cleveland Browns punter, was kicked by the Steelers receiver as he returned a punt in the second quarter of a wild game in Pittsburgh on Sept. 7. Brown attempted (but failed) to hurdle Lanning as he ran the ball back, and was called for unnecessary roughness on the play.

It’s a moment that has stuck with Lanning, so, inevitably, he was asked about it in his first day with the Broncos.

“I knew exactly what he was trying to do, and it makes sense,”Lanning said Monday.”He was trying to save himself once he realized I wasn’t going under. He jumped to hurdle me and I didn’t cut under, so he just sort of got stuck in no-man’s land. It’s football, right? I get it.”

Everyone else didn’t though. Immediately after the game, Lanning’s phone blew up with text messages from friends, strangers, acquaintances he hadn’t heard from in years.

“Everybody was like, ‘ Were you mad?’ No, I’m pissed we gave up a big return,”he said.”I was ready to bite on the middle, because I thought he was going outside. So I’m leaning and all of sudden. I told him, ‘If you had gone outside, you would have scored a touchdown.'”

“I had my phone off during the game, and then afterward I turned it on to shower and then come back. I had a bunch of media right next to my locker and I totally forgot it happened, because it happened the first half and a lot of stuff happened – we almost came back and won. I was like, ‘Man, I must have had a pretty good day of punting,’ and the very first question was, ‘Talk to me about getting kicked in the face.’ I was like, ‘Ah, yes. That is why all these vultures are here. That is what’s going on.’ I looked at my phone and I had 180-something texts. I had to delete Twitter because every time I turned my phone on, Twitter would just drain it because of alerts. It was nuts. And like half the numbers I had never even seen before. ‘Spencer, are you all right?!’ ‘What the hell happened?’ Uh, yeah, you tell me.”

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