Ol’ Ricky has seen plenty of fights in practice, though not as many in recent years as players consider themselves businessmen more than ball players anymore. Teams also don’t want to risk injury given heavy investment in players.
But, coaches secretly like fights. They sometimes encourage them, then give a blank expression afterwards when asked about it. As long as no one gets hurt, and they seldom do given helmets and pads, it’s just shrugged off as part of the game.
But one day in Frostburg saw a series off fights during a morning practice. One included quarterback Gus Frerotte punching a defensive end for a cheap-shot elbow when the quarterback was running downfield following an interception. I mean, when your passer is throwing punches, it’s time to take some deep breaths.
I forget who the two linemen were in the second fight, but the third saw two guys in the same color jerseys. Wait, aren’t they both defensive players? Safety James Washington and defensive end Sterling Palmer squared off after the former’s yakking became too much for Palmer, who was a rough guy. Never saw two guys on the same side fight, but it was that kind of day.
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Mostly, fights were forgotten after practice. Just a combination of heat and hitting over several days awakened an inner rage, especially if a player considered the other one cheating against him like holding. Jobs are on the line so you knock that guy out of the way.
If you missed a tale about Ed Simmons and a video on Adrian Peterson being the best Redskins player on the roster, you're in luck!
Ol’ Ricky is taking the weekend (hard to tell the difference nowadays) off. Be safe and we’ll see you on Monday. Lots of stories in my book and these are the types of tales I’ll tell on my coming “Pizza and Pigskins Tours.”
Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Redskins in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks.