Marrone thinks training-camp fights hurt game’s “integrity”


Plenty of teams have had fights during training camp.  The Bills had one on Wednesday, which included some fairly strong language from one of the participants.

According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, veteran center Eric Wood and rookie defensive lineman Bryan Johnson had an altercation during a goal-line drill.  Tight end Scott Chandler intervened, taking Johnson to the ground.

I’ll f-cking kill you!” Wood yelled at Johnson.

Defensive end Jerry Hughes was amused.

“Twenty-one days in pads and counting!” Hughes yelled. “I love it! That’s what happens, baby!”

Coach Doug Marrone wasn’t.

“It’s not part of the game,” Marrone told reporters after practice. “Therefore, I don’t want to speak about it. It hurts the integrity of our game the more we talk about it. That’s how I feel about fighting.”

It may hurt the integrity of the game, but it’s definitely part of the fabric of the game.  Still, at some point a fight during practice becomes a case of workplace violence, which is prohibited by the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.  At some point between harmless pushing and shoving and Albert Haynesworth shredding the forehead of Andre Gurode resides a line that players shouldn’t cross.  It’s unclear precisely where that line resides.

15 responses to “Marrone thinks training-camp fights hurt game’s “integrity”

  1. Fighting at training-camp doesn’t ruin the game’s integrity. Removing kickoffs and having 20+ flags per a game does.

  2. if every threat like this ever uttered on an athletic field resulted in someone actually dying, the world would have a lot fewer people……

    since nfl line play is like a fist fight in pads and helmets, its gonna be hard to draw the line for workplace violence…

  3. Fighting your own teammates in practice confirms that you are a complete failure in terms of self-control. It’s one thing to verbally spar with one of your comrades, but when you seek to do physical, bodily harm than you are crossing a line that shouldn’t be crossed. These guys are being paid a whole lotta money to perform on the field when games count, but if you break your hand fighting your own teammate in August than that proves your priorities are completely messed up.

    This time of year is meant for strengthening bonds between teammates, and creating a cohesive group of guys that have each other’s backs. If you’re being paid to be a professional player, than that professionalism should extend into practice and beyond the field of play. Some of these pros are as childish as they come…

  4. Eric Wood is a monster. Johnson’s lucky Chandler intervened cuz it wouldn’t have been good for him.

  5. The line can be shaped and influenced by the coaching staff, which also takes directives from management and ownership. If a team wants to pride themselves on a different set of principles than what other teams elect, then that’s up to them to decide and to set the tone. But most of these teams seem to have the same basic ideals about most things about football.

    There also seems to be an extreme excessive use of swearing beyond what’s really necessary, and that’s fine if teams have no issue with that, but sometimes what we hear is rather appalling and embarrassing. Just as one example, the dirty language speech by Mike Smith in which he also encourages his players to take penalties to send a message about how hard they are, that was disgusting and horrible to hear, and disappointing that he wants to teach his team that way.

    Each team gets to determine what kind of culture they want to have for behavior and language, so make it what you want it to be and don’t complain if things aren’t fitting with your vision if you are one of the people in charge of that vision!

  6. What’s wrong with a little dust-up…they have probably lined up against each other 30-40% of the play’s run during practice…it’s hot out there…you have a rookie trying to make an impression and a vet who isn’t going to be out played by a rookie…tempers flare. It’s a violent sport to start with…not a big deal to me as long as other players intervene quickly and no broken bones occur.

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