Wednesday marks the final training camp practice that the New England Patriots will have open to the public. It will be another joint practice against the Chicago Bears- and the previous two with Da Bears haven’t gone that well.
The two teams duked it out multiple times on Monday and Tuesday, and you have think that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is slightly regretting joining forces with the Bears, instead of with, say, the Panthers next week.
Belichick has a rule that players that fight in joint practices get tossed. Star cornerback Malcolm Butler was removed on Monday. Center Bryan Stork was kicked out on Tuesday. These practice reps are crucial, especially for a player like Stork that is competing for playing time.
Bears head coach John Fox has a different approach.
“Those weren’t fights,” Fox said after practice. “Those were just pushing matches.”
I’m not sure if Fox and Rex Ryan attended the same school of discipline, but there’s a difference between a team standing up for itself, and a team that won’t follow the rules. Instilling “fire”, as new Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman called it, in your team takes more than a training camp brawl; the teams that win are the ones that step back from the fight and take it out on their opponent by dominating them the next play.
Hopefully there won’t be any fights today and that both teams can head into Thursday’s game on a positive note.
Wednesday, August 17th
10:00am - 12:15pm: Joint practice with Bears