Niles Paul, Markus White Fight In One Of Two Mid-Practice Scuffles
ASHBURN – Aggression peaked midway through the Washington Redskins’ practice Saturday as two fights underlined the competitive nature of the afternoon.
Linebacker London Fletcher and center Will Montgomery started shoving each other and had to be separated after Fletcher took exception to Montgomery’s prolonged blocking after a play was ruled dead.
Minutes later, tight end Niles Paul and linebacker Markus White mixed it up, with Paul wrestling White down to a knee and throwing two punches at the top of his teammate’s helmet.
“I definitely felt like I went too far,” Paul said afterward. “It shouldn’t have went that far. I should have been a bigger man and just let that go, but it’s hot out here. I don’t want to make excuses, but I just kind of snapped.”
After Tanard Jackson intercepted a Rex Grossman pass, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander came back to block Paul, who, because players don’t tackle at practice, gave up on the play and considered it dead. White, however, charged Paul and threw his own block, causing the ruckus.
Head coach Mike Shanahan called both sides to the middle of the field and told them to regain their tempers before resuming the session.
“You love to see guys that are competitive every time, but you can’t have guys lose their poise because it will cost you a football game,” Shanahan said. “I tried to share that with the guys that they always say the guy that doesn’t get the cheap shot but retaliates, that’s usually the guy that gets the penalty.
“I’ve had it happen to me many times, and so it’s a good learning lesson when something like that happens to talk to both guys and just say, ‘Hey, you can’t fight on the football field.’ But like you mentioned, you like to see the spirit. You like to see the energy, but at the same time, there’s a fine line.”