Another day, another dust-up here at Eagles training camp.
Today it was Jeremy Maclin and the normally mild-mannered Bradley Fletcher squaring off. The two were going head-to-head during team drills and started having words after the whistle. Next thing you know, punches were being thrown and a big crowd gathered to separate the two.
Practice ended a short time later. Maclin exited the field without speaking to reporters. Fletcher didn’t offer much.
“We’re just playing ball,” he said. “Emotions got going and one thing led to another.”
Cary Williams, meanwhile, had plenty to say on the subject. He held court out on Lincoln Financial Field and was still speaking long after the rest of his teammates had gone into the locker room. He has a soft spot for this particular topic of conversation.
“I’m glad, to be honest with you,” said Williams of the fights at training camp this year. “You’re not supposed to be friendly. When you come out here to camp, it’s no friends, although you try to look out for your brother. But you’re fighting for jobs, you’re fighting for opportunities and when those situations arise, especially defenders, man, you want to let them know that we’re not having that, that we’re going to be the most physical defenders we possibly can. That’s been showing up these past two days. If it was up to me, I think that’s normal. I don’t think you’re supposed to go through camp without fights. That’s my opinion.”
Asked if he was surprised that there have been two fights so far at camp and he hasn’t been involved in any of them, Williams assured the gathered media that it was only a matter of time.
“Oh, mine’s coming,” he said with a smile.
On Sunday, it was LeSean McCoy and Trent Cole that were involved in some extra-curriculars.
“Their emotions got the better of them, and those things happen,” said Chip Kelly, who frowns on camp fights. “It’s no different than sometimes kids don’t get along very well and throw Tonka trucks at each other.”
Last year, it was Williams throwing his Tonka truck at Aaron Dobson of the Patriots during joint practices at NovaCare. Kelly made him sit the rest of the session out. The two teams will practice with one another once again leading up to their preseason game on August 15.
“I was just being in a sense a rebellious cat because I saw some stuff going on and I just wanted to set the tone and let guys know that we are not supposed to get pushed around,” he said. “It’s going to be a different team when we go up there, a different type of us. Offensively and defensively, regardless of what’s going on, we’re going to try not to throw haymakers or fight because that’s the agreement. But in camp each and every day, we don’t have that type of agreement. Those frustrations are going to come out and you’re going to see more fights.”
Today was the first time the team practiced with pads on. They have the day off Tuesday before returning to the NovaCare on Wednesday.
Bennie Logan (hamstring) did not practice for the second straight day. Riley Cooper and Chris Polk also sat out with undisclosed injuries. Both were in attendance and didn’t seem to be dealing with anything serious.
Today was the first of three open practices. Just under 15,000 fans were in attendance at Lincoln Financial Field. It was also Military Appreciation Day. About 60 of our service men and women were taken into the Eagles locker room before hand for a meet-and-greet with the players and coaches. Word is that Chip Kelly took a photograph with each and every one of them.