RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on Monday, August 13, three days before the Washington Redskins host the Jets in their second preseason game.
In case you haven’t heard, the Redskins’ offense and Jets’ defense got into a donnybrook during their joint practice on Tuesday.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Well, you say, of course nobody got hurt. They were wearing helmets and shoulder pads.
But the problem was that the event that precipitated the fight took place on the west sideline of the field at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. That sideline is about 10 yards from the start of the main spectator area at the facility. Only plastic poles and a single strand of rope separate the fans from the field.
About 90 minutes into practice, hostilities between the two sides flared momentarily, cooled down, and then exploded. The last phase of the fight moved closer and closer to the fans. None of them were wearing helmets and shoulder pads. It eventually spilled past the ropes and a few feet into the spectator area. That was a very dangerous situation as you can see from the fan videos posted in this article.
Not all of the fans reacted intelligently. Some stayed near the “action” to get better videos of it on their cameras. Others, as you can hear, wanted to root on the players from the teams they support (there were a lot of Jets fans there).
What you can’t really see in the cameras is that there is nobody there to break it up. There were NFL referees there in advance of giving the players and media the annual rules presentation, but they weren’t about to jump into it. The coaches were letting the boys be boys, not that they necessarily could have done much anyway.
And that was the scary part. Had one more angry player decided to stir things up again when they were in the spectator area things could have gotten ugly, as in fans could have been injured.
They kept on practicing, which seemed to be a questionable move. A couple of snaps later, another melee broke out. This one ended fairly quickly, and it was on the other side of the practice field. Eventually, things calmed down and they got in some quality practice until rain and lightning ended the session perhaps a few minutes early.
As things turned out, we can talk about how the events of the afternoon perhaps helped bring the team together, as one former Redskin I spoke to suggested.
But there was a fine line between boys being boys and “competitive football” as Jets instigator Trumaine Johnson said, and an event that gets out of control and innocent people get hurt.
The fight was like gasoline that was poured all over the place. It’s just fortunate that the match wasn’t lit.
Jay Gruden and Todd Bowles can’t rely on just good luck when it comes to averting disaster. Both coaches need to get control of their teams. They have the power to fine players for misconduct. The Jaguars just suspended two players for fighting in practice. The Redskins and Jets could take such action.
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Josh Doctson. Adios pic.twitter.com/ucXHeDZLAU— Peter Hailey (@_PeterHailey) August 12, 2018
Today: Jay Gruden news conference 9:30; Practice with Jets 9:45; players available to the media after practice
Upcoming: Preseason Jets @ Redskins (Aug. 16) 3 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 19 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 27 days
In case you missed it
- The 'Skins and Jets got into a brawl an hour into practice
- Redskins-Jets joint practice report, Day 1
- How Davis' injury affects the Redskins' WR depth chart
- QB Alex Smith gets his first shot against another team as Redskins QB