Practice-field scuffle is only latest sign of Jeremy Maclin's competitive side

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Chiefs QB Alex Smith discusses what WR Jeremy Maclin brings to the team and whether the offense will open up more.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – After having a few days to calm himself after his practice-field scuffle with cornerback Marcus Cooper, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was contrite about the incident.

“That’s how it goes sometimes," Maclin said. “ After practice I talked to Coop. That’s not what I represent. That’s not what I stand for. It was one of those dog days of practice. It’s hot out here. I let my emotions get the best of me. I know that in a game, I’d be thrown out of the game and possibly kicked out for the next game, hurting my team. You can’t do that. I’m not going to do it anymore."

Yet Maclin just might get in another practice scuffle before his time with the Chiefs is up. He went on to say this was the third practice-field fight of his NFL career and that he said he wasn’t going to trade punches with a teammate on the practice field again after each of the first two incidents.

That’s who Maclin is. He certainly isn’t a hothead who’s going to brawl with a teammate at a moment’s notice. Indeed, Maclin has been described to me by several people as an excellent teammate.

But Maclin is as competitive a player as the Chiefs have. That’s a good thing. It makes him the player he is.

That competitiveness couldn’t help but come out when Maclin was grabbed by Cooper on the play that led to the fight. Maclin had clearly beaten Cooper and was going to catch a pass for a long gain before he was grabbed by the defensive back, causing an incompletion.

The two had words and soon were trading punches.

Maclin wants to win the day, whether it’s a Sunday in the fall or a practice in August. He showed his competiveness in his first practice with the Chiefs in May, during the offseason.

Maclin dove for a couple of passes, leaving his feet during a practice without pads to make a couple of plays that mattered to no one else.

They mattered to him, and that’s what counted to Maclin. So he hit the ground hard in an attempt to make those catches, causing some brief panic among his coaches until he got back to his feet unharmed.

Maclin is as serious about his craft as any receiver the Chiefs have had in a long time. That’s part of what they were getting when they signed him.