ASHBURN, Va. (CBSDC) — With training camp two weeks old and the doldrums of routine setting in, practice has gotten a little chippy at points for the Washington Redskins.
A number of scuffles broke out during last Saturday’s fan appreciation day. Although the timing may have been poor, the haymakers were not altogether unexpected.
Veteran linebacker London Fletcher and offensive lineman Will Montgomery got into a little shoving match before Niles Paul and Markus White came to blows. Paul, a newly converted tight end, threw some “serious” punches on the linebacker before Mike Shanahan called a halt to practice to speak with the team.
Paul said afterwords that he and White were good friends and that “on the field stuff happens.”
Defensive end Adam Carriker agreed with that assessment when I asked him about it on our radio show, 4th & Pain, this week.
“Everyone is always excited to come back, get the season going, excited for training camp,” he explained. “But once you’ve been here about two weeks and it’s been 100 degrees, it’s hot, it’s humid and you’re seeing the same dudes all day, every day for 12 or 13 hours a day, tempers can flare… it was no big deal.”
The scuffles prove the importance of tonight’s preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills. More so than giving the coaches an opportunity to evaluate talent, the game will afford players an opportunity to blow off steam.
“That’s why you look forward to the preseason games,” Carriker said. “You can hit somebody else, you can see somebody else and you can take that frustration out on somebody else.”
The Redskins and the Bills kickoff from Orchard Park, NY tonight at 7 p.m.