RICHMOND, Va. (CBSNewYork) — Was it just boys being boys, or something else?
Sparks flew on the first day of joint practices involving the Jets and Washington Redskins on Sunday as the teams were involved in several altercations, including one vicious brawl.
The clubs are practicing together through Tuesday in advance of their preseason game on Thursday night in Landover, Md.
Skirmishes often break out between NFL teams when they practice together during the preseason, but maybe it was no coincidence that Sunday’s fisticuffs followed an incident late last month when the Redskins took verbal shots at their former teammate, Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.
Redskins linebacker Zach Brown and others apparently didn’t like some of the coddling Pryor received during his disappointing 2017 season with Washington. Pryor, a converted quarterback who is one of the most athletic players on the Jets roster, had just 20 receptions, 240 yards and one touchdown, and played in just nine games. The year before in Cleveland, he posted 77 catches, 1,007 yards and 4 TDs.
Though it didn’t appear that Pryor was a focal point in the disturbances, which occurred during individual drills and when each team’s offense faced the other’s defense, he did exchange words with Josh Norman, the Redskins’ stud defensive back, once the fists started to fly.
The old-school hockey game that broke out on the practice field did not interest Jets head coach Todd Bowles one bit.
“If they wanted to be boxers and wrestlers, they’d probably be in another sport,” Bowles said. “We’re trying to get better. They’re trying to get better. Some things happened — overzealousness. I’ll talk to my guys. [Washington] Coach [Jay] Gruden will talk to his guys and we’ll have better practices [Monday] because that’s just a waste of time to me.”
The Jets’ practices in Virginia followed their impressive 17-0 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Friday in their preseason opener. Quarterback Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, was impressive in his first pro action, going 13-for-18 for 96 yards, a touchdown and, perhaps most importantly, no turnovers. For his efforts, the former star out of USC received the majority of the first-team reps during Sunday’s practice and there’s a possibility he’ll get the start Thursday night against the ‘Skins.
Darnold is locked in a fierce battle for the starting job with veterans Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown. The latter two have also impressed throughout training camp.