Minicamp practices are supposed to be non-contact, and when fights break out at non-contact practices, the league office sometimes responds by cracking down on the teams involved.
Which is bad news for the Dolphins.
Two offensive line vs. defensive line fights broke out in the Dolphins’ minicamp practice today, with Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel identifying Jake Long vs. Olivier Vernon and Richie Incognito vs. Ryan Baker as the two bouts on today’s fight card. (Fortunately for Kelly, he wasn’t fighting Kevin Burnett on the undercard.)
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said afterward that he wasn’t pleased, not because of any concern that the league office could get involved, but because he wants players who are smart enough to avoid personal foul penalties.
“I wasn’t very happy we lost two players in a drill,” Philbin said, via the Palm Beach Post. “That can be a critical time in a game. You have to be able to keep your poise and play. It’s great to be tough, it’s great to be physical. . . . It’s 15 yards, loss of down, clock, all those things. So yeah, there was good competitiveness, but you’ve got to be smart.”
Philbin said he’s going to view the practice video and address the matter with whoever provoked the altercation.
“We’re going to have to watch the tape to see who provoked the situation that happened today,” Philbin said.
The league office may also watch the tape and, at the very least, remind the Dolphins that these practices are supposed to be non-contact. And HBO will tell them to save it for Hard Knocks.