The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans were involved in a bit of an altercation during Thursday's joint practice in Nashville.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, potentially speaking from experience, would not use the word "fight" to describe what unfolded.

"If that's a fight to you, man, you've never been in a fight," Vrabel told reporters after practice. "We just don't want any punches thrown."

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown sparked the scuffle when both players refused to let go after they got tangled up.

Vrabel didn't mind his players showing some toughness and standing up for each other, as long as they didn't let their emotions get the best of them.

"I'm going to make sure we do (joint practices) with people that we trust that aren't sharing information and practice the same way we do, and believe in competing hard and finishing by not throwing punches," Vrabel said. "I understand that it's competitive. They're pro football players. We want them to be really competitive.

"Is there going to be pushing and shoving? Yeah, I'd figure there would be. But can they play with enough composure to break it up like they do in a game and go back? There's pushing and shoving in every game, and if you don't throw a punch, they're going to let you go back into the huddle."

The Patriots and Titans are done with their joint practices, which began Wednesday. These teams will shift focus to preparing for Saturday night's preseason showdown in Nashville, where emotions likely will still be running high. 


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