- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Even with temperatures in the low 70s, the Bears momentarily lost their cool for the second consecutive day.
Friday’s brief shoving match between wide receiver Eric Weems and cornerback Sherrick McManis lasted only a couple seconds, but Saturday morning’s dustup involved multiple players and took several members of the team to restore order.
The main combatants appeared to be defensive lineman Lamarr Houston and right tackle Jordan Mills, along with defensive end Willie Young. At one point guard Kyle Long tried to play peacemaker and separate the players, even though Long is still not practicing due to a viral infection. Multiple players from both sides then jumped in to quiet down the situation.
There were no further problems, and all the parties involved downplayed the incident after practice, as expected.
Shoving matches and minor fights are commonplace at NFL training camps, but Bears head coach Marc Trestman prefers that his players avoid engaging in that type of behavior, and for good reason.
“We know that there are times in practice where a player may lose his mind,” Trestman said. “The bottom line is when we talk about it in meetings: fighting is a disciplinary issue. We would have lost both players. If we’re practicing like it’s a game, we would have lost both players today.
“Not only that but it’s a major safety issue. The guys involved are remorseful about it. They don’t want it to happen and they know it hurts the football team. The thing you like to see is that it didn’t linger. The team got back to work and there were no other altercations. But one play can hurt a football team. That’s how we sell it to each and every guy. On one play we can lose players. And it’s a safety issue. We have to continue to move forward with that and I know we will.”