Giants head coach Joe Judge usually spends part of the time before the team hits the field for a practice to share his thoughts and expectations for the day ahead.
And with the first of the team's fully padded practices scheduled for Tuesday, one of Judge's messages to the team was more of a reminder than anything else.
"I think the biggest thing the first day in pads we’ve got to stress with our team is obviously the intensity’s up, the urgency’s up, but we’ve got to make sure we play at the prescribed tempo," he said before Tuesday's practice.
"What we’re not looking for in team-tempo is the running back gets in a pile with defensive linemen and all of a sudden it just looks like a mosh pit and then no one else gets any work."
So much for the head coach's desire to avoid a mosh pit because Tuesday's otherwise spirited practice took an ugly turn for the worst.
The melee started when running back Corey Clement took a hard hit from a defender on a long run. With tempers rising, players began pushing and shoving each other.
Before anyone could react, suddenly a full-scale melee erupted, that quarterback Daniel Jones ended at the bottom of the pile since he was running the offense at the time.
"I'm part of the team and part of the offense," Jones said after the practice when asked how he ended up at the bottom of the scrum. "We're competing, so I don't see myself separately."
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With practice stopped, Judge had the players line up at the goal line to run a series of sprints the length of the field and back, followed by a series of rapid-fire pushups.
He then gathered the players around him in a semi-circle to address what had just transpired.
"There's consequences for that kind of stuff," Jones said when asked what Judge's message was to the team. "That's the way it is in the game--if you lose your cool there's consequences that hurts the team. So that was the message, and I think everyone understands that."
Jones, who chalked up the outburst to the players being a little too overzealous over being in pads for the first time in months, said they can't be going at each other like that again.
"We've got to do a better job of control on that and making sure we're controlling our enthusiasm and excitement," he said.
The good news is that no one appeared to be injured in the melee and that once tempers cooled, any ill feelings that emerged during the scuffle itself seemed to be forgotten by the players
The bad news is that the outburst took some valuable time away from the Giants' first padded practice of the summer.
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