Monday, July 28, 2014
Another day, another fight at Eagles' camp
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles' defense is a little ahead of coordinator Bill Davis' schedule.
"The personality of this group will show itself when we play games in the preseason and as we play games on Sunday," Davis said the other day.
Receiver Jeremy Maclin (pictured) and teammate Bradley Fletcher got into an on-field scuffle during Monday's training camp practice.
During the Eagles' next two practices, fights broke out. On Sunday, it was linebacker Trent Cole and running back LeSean McCoy. On Monday afternoon, during an open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, the combatants were wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and cornerback Bradley Fletcher.
"I'm glad, to be honest with you," cornerback Cary Williams said. "When you come out here to camp, there's no friends. You try to look out for your brother. You're fighting for jobs, you're fighting for opportunities. When those situations arise, especially defenders, we're going to let them know we're not having that. We're going to be the most physical defense we possibly can."
Last summer, Williams got into a scuffle with one of the New England Patriots during a joint practice. Both players were held out for the rest of the practice, as per an agreement between Chip Kelly and Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Kelly hasn't been that strict when it's a bout between two of his own players.
"Those things happen," Kelly said. "Their emotions got the better part of them. It's no different than little kids sometimes don't get along and throw Tonka trucks at each other."
While the coach understands the dynamic and tolerates the occasional melee, Williams is downright in favor of it.
"If it was up to me," Williams said, "I think that's normal. I don't think you're supposed to go through camp with no fights, in my opinion. Those are supposed to happen. Guys get frustrated. You're out here these long hours, guys get frustrated. You're fighting to survive another down. Sometimes guys get the best of you and you may be frustrated. That's a part of camp, man."
Aside from the scuffle with the Patriots, Williams got into a camp fight last summer with wide receiver Riley Cooper. That one drew even more attention because it occurred a couple weeks after the appearance of an Internet video of Cooper using a racial slur during a concert.
So it was somewhat surprising that two fights have broken out and Williams was not involved.
"Mine is coming," he said. "It's all in good fun. You're going to have those things. It's practice. Maclin wasn't going to back down, either. What's done out here stays out here. We're family, at the end of the day. You're not swinging to hurt the guy. They've got on helmets. It's more of a faking situation. If you break your hand in a fight, you're a complete idiot."