Offseason workouts are supposed to be mellow. On Tuesday in Alameda, California, they weren’t.
Via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com, three fights broke out during a single Organized Team Activity for the Raiders.
Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele and defensive end Jihad Ward threw punches at one point. Separately, guard Jon Feliciano and defensive lineman Leon Orr exchanged shoves. Guard Vadal Alexander and defensive end Damontre Moore got into it late in the session.
“I guess they enjoyed the long weekend or were fired up watching the Warriors close one out last night,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “I don’t know.”
Del Rio may not be sure of the cause, but he understands one of the consequences.
“I think it was great opportunity to teach,” Del Rio said. “Today there some of spats going on, which really aren’t a part of what we do. That’s not how we work or how we have respect for each other. In most every case it was a new guy. I take it upon myself there to let guys who weren’t here know what the Raider way looks like.
“Hopefully we won’t waste time doing things like that. We want to play hard, but [while] being respectful. Real toughness is playing hard without hurting the team. We wanted disciplined players, and we expect those things to occur at a real minimum moving forward.”
Quarterback Derek Carr agreed with Del Rio.
“Guys are fighting to earn a job or roster spot so it’ll be intense, but we have to have the culture around here that we’re not about scuffles like that,” Carr said.
“You never want to see guys fighting, but everybody here is competitive and we’ve all gotten to that point where you wanted to punch somebody in the face on the football field.”
The bigger problem, not mentioned by Del Rio, Carr, or Bair, is this: Fights aren’t going to happen after plays if contact isn’t happening during plays. Two years ago, tales of a Seahawks minicamp fight sparked an NFLPA investigation regarding whether the session included contact. The probe hit pay dirt, resulting in six-figure fines for coach Pete Carroll and the team, along with the loss of OTA time the following year.