It was all the talk in Pittsburgh on Monday, with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin the only one not talking about the fight that broke out during practice. Tomlin feigned ignorance when asked about the brouhaha between receiver Chase Claypool and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
But Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports multiple players confirmed the fight.
“I think we’re still in that training camp mode where it’s that competitive edge. People are getting chippy,” Steelers defensive lineman Tyson Alualu said, via Batko. “I think it’s just part of the game. I don’t think it’s anything you have to look into. It’s part of the game. It’s part of football. But we understand we don’t want — especially our star players — we don’t want anyone getting hurt. We’ve got to be more smart.”
The team huddled post-practice, but Tomlin declined to discuss his message. Batko said it was about players being smart and making sure no one is injured.
Claypool and Fitzpatrick were not made available to the media following practice, and it is unclear what began the fracas.
“I just saw a big pile. I didn’t really see what went on,” Steelers left guard Kevin Dotson said. “You come out here and you’re pretty much fighting a person for two hours. Eventually, something might happen. That’s been happening since little league.”
Dotson said he thought it began with Claypool and Fitzpatrick, adding, “They’re two of our biggest competitors, so I kind of almost expect it to happen at least once.”
Tomlin wouldn’t even acknowledge a fight happened, saying he had “no idea” what a questioner was referring to when asking about the scuffle.
Judging by the reported chippiness at Monday’s workout, Steelers players apparently can’t wait to face the Bills on Sept. 12.