The Cowboys and Raiders brawled during a joint practice this week. It was good for page views, but probably bad for football purposes, and could have been worse had anyone been injured.
The Redskins and Patriots had no such brawls, and in fact most of the reports were positive about the three joint sessions they held in Richmond. Bruce Allen is already talking about doing more joint practices in the future.
#Redskins GM Bruce Allen bullish on joint practice w/ Patriots during camp & says team will talk to other NFL teams about doing same in 2015.
— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) August 12, 2014
Players offered mixed reviews right after the sessions were over, and in an interview with Ball Hogs Radio this week, Niles Paul suggested that such a brawl wasn’t out of the question in Richmond. This answer came when Paul was asked what the Redskins learned by practicing in such close proximity to Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the rest of the New England gang.
“I don’t think we were concerned about how they approached their practices,” the tight end said. “I think everybody was kind of on egg shells the whole time, just waiting for a brawl to break out. Because it was clear that they didn’t like us and we didn’t like them being there. It was one big hit or one mistake away from a brawl breaking out.”
“I think it’s just the competitive nature of NFL players,” Paul then explained. “You’ve got two different teams and we’re out there competing every day, going hard. And it’s kind of [like] one wants to show up the other, and I guess the end result of that is everybody kind of waiting on something to happen.”
Of course, there were no brawls, so all’s well. And the Redskins have had a noticeable lack of teammate-on-teammate scuffling this summer as well.
“Coach Gruden made a point of emphasis to say that he didn’t want any guys to get into any scuffles,” Paul said. “We shouldn’t be beating up on each other because we’re teammates. And all of us tried our hardest to kind of have self-control out there. And that was a big point of emphasis this year going into training camp.”