Things get heated in Panthers camp, with Michael Oher in the middle

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With temperatures in Charlotte climbing near 100 degrees for the second straight day, things got predictably hot at Panthers minicamp.

Via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, today’s practice was marked by a few scuffles, the most notable between left tackle Michael Oher and defensive end Kony Ealy.

I think the heat got the best of us,” coach Ron Rivera said. “It’ll happen, and the same thing will happen in training camp, unfortunately. We’ve been going at it now for four weeks with OTAs and now minicamp, and this was our first day we had anything. So it was, unfortunately, inevitable and I think the heat really had a little bit to do with it.”

While pushing and shoving may be normal, Oher and Ealy were throwing punches, ended up rolling on the ground and had to be separated by teammates. Quarterback Cam Newton ran toward reporters (who were barred from taking pictures or shooting video of that part of practice anyway) in an effort at distraction, since it was apparently a bigger deal than normal.

“I don’t like the fighting, but I do like the fact that there was a standoff,” Rivera said. “Kony’s a young guy who’s learning and trying to learn how to cope and Michael’s a veteran guy. It’s kind of like the young bear poking the older bear.”

“I don’t mind the pushing and the shoving, but when you start swinging at one another, you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to treat each other like brothers, and if you had a fight with a brother, you wouldn’t swing at him, you’d probably want to make sure you talk to your mom and dad. My office is open.”

As much as they don’t want to see the punches, the Panthers probably don’t mind at some subliminal level. They’re trusting Oher to protect Newton’s back this year (see how we got through that without saying it?), and they’d love to see Ealy win a starting job opposite Charles Johnson. So while the fight might be bad, seeing some fight from guys in key roles isn’t the worst thing.

21 responses to “Things get heated in Panthers camp, with Michael Oher in the middle

  1. “You’ve got to treat each other like brothers, and if you had a fight with a brother, you wouldn’t swing at him, you’d probably want to make sure you talk to your mom and dad”

    in what house did rivera grow up in? do you know how many holes in drywall and broken knuckles ive delt with from fights with my brother….and goto & dad? are you joking?

  2. I’ll never understand the geniuses who throw punches at people wearing helmets and full padding. You’re about 1000% more likely to break your hand than hurt them in any meaningful way.

  3. “You’ve got to treat each other like brothers, and if you had a fight with a brother, you wouldn’t swing at him…”

    In other words, Rivera didn’t have a brother when he was growing up.

  4. jtowndolfan says:
    Jun 17, 2015 1:57 PM
    “You’ve got to treat each other like brothers, and if you had a fight with a brother, you wouldn’t swing at him, you’d probably want to make sure you talk to your mom and dad”

    in what house did rivera grow up in? do you know how many holes in drywall and broken knuckles ive delt with from fights with my brother….and goto & dad? are you joking?

    Word for word – exactly what I was going to say.
    jtowndolfan, you are brilliant!

  5. Yep, Ron Rivera never had a brother… not like any of mine anyway. Word to the wise, beat the hell out of your brothers while they are smaller than you so you can psychologically intimidate them when they outgrow you… they always outgrow you!!!

  6. otitan says:
    Jun 17, 2015 2:14 PM
    jtowndolfan says:
    Jun 17, 2015 1:57 PM
    “You’ve got to treat each other like brothers, and if you had a fight with a brother, you wouldn’t swing at him, you’d probably want to make sure you talk to your mom and dad”

    in what house did rivera grow up in? do you know how many holes in drywall and broken knuckles ive delt with from fights with my brother….and goto & dad? are you joking?

    Word for word – exactly what I was going to say.
    jtowndolfan, you are brilliant!

    Me three. Snitches got stitches in my house.

  7. Years later my two boys now young adults broke the news to us that the broken front door glass was not the result of accidental fall but a fight when one tried to push the others head through the door. Boys eh!

  8. otitan says:
    Jun 17, 2015 2:14 PM
    jtowndolfan says:
    Jun 17, 2015 1:57 PM
    “You’ve got to treat each other like brothers, and if you had a fight with a brother, you wouldn’t swing at him, you’d probably want to make sure you talk to your mom and dad”

    in what house did rivera grow up in? do you know how many holes in drywall and broken knuckles ive delt with from fights with my brother….and goto & dad? are you joking?

    AMEN

  9. Like many others here, I threw plenty of punches at my brother as a kid, and he threw just as many as me. I don’t mind training camp fights. I don’t care who starts them or who finishes them. As long as both parties can avoid injuring each other, to me it just shows they have fire in their bellies and are chomping at the bit to compete. Michael Oher is 500% better than Byron Bell already.

  10. Like others here, my brother & I threw plenty of punches at each other as kids. I don’t mind training camp fights. I’d rather have guys with passion and fire that go a little overboard than a bunch of corpses who aren’t chomping at the bit to compete. To me, this incident shows that Oher is 500% better than Byron Bell already.

  11. I had 5 brothers and not only did they throw punches, they also took up arms with anything that was handy at the moment– baseball bats, old heavy rotary phones, you name it.

  12. “coolzog says:
    Jun 17, 2015 2:02 PM

    I’ll never understand the geniuses who throw punches at people wearing helmets and full padding. You’re about 1000% more likely to break your hand than hurt them in any meaningful way.”

    And if they have their helmets off, and one gets hit in the head, they will sue the NFL for concussions and the outcome of developing CTE which sometimes results in players devoting their entire careers to losing teams like the Panthers. Brain injuries are not fun!

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