Want to apologize for my lack of posting lately. I've been packing up and preparing for the move down to college. I'll be doing several catch up posts over the next few days. Thanks for reading! (-Jared)
When you play a contact-oriented sport like football, it's certainly normal for play to get a little bit physical. During training camp, players are fighting for a place on the final 53-man roster. At New England Patriots camp this week, players were doing just that. Except, they were also fighting each other.
The drama started on Wednesday, when the Patriots held their annual season-ticket holder night practice in Gillette Stadium. During a one-on-one drill, left tackle Nate Solder took a shot at linebacker Brandon Spikes and the two went at it. The two had to be separated by players and coaches. Spikes left practice with a minor injury while Solder had to run penalty laps. That wasn't the end of it, either.
On Friday, another scuffle broke out--this time everyone was involved. It started when Offensive lineman Ryan Wendell wanted to finish off a block on linebacker Bobby Carpenter. Carpenter didn't like that one bit. The two went at it, and pulled the entire team in with them. After all of the fighting, Bill Belichick made every player run three penalty laps from goalpost to goalpost.
There are really two ways you can view this.
The more optimistic one is that it's just boys being boys. The competition is a lot more intense then in years past, with 90 players trying to earn 53 roster spots. Players want to showcase their abilities to the coaches, and will fight until the whistle blows. Sometimes after. The fighting could simply be a showcase from the players involved that they'll do whatever it takes to win a spot.
The concerning one is that the chemistry among this group isn't as strong as advertised. The fact that the Patriots aren't among the teams you hear that have multiple fights in practice is a little bit concerning. The fact that key young players like Solder and Spikes are getting involved in fights could be a testament to how effective team leadership really is.
I just don't know, I'm trying to think with a positive mind and take the multiple fights as a good sign. But we want to hear from you. What do you think?