A fight broke out on Sunday at joint practices between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins in Richmond, Virginia- the first of 3 practices scheduled between the two teams before they square off at FedEx Field on Thursday at 8pm. Reports by The New York Post and USA Today state that the fight began when newly signed Jet Trumaine Johnson hit Redskins’ offensive lineman Morgan Moses after the whistle. Moses, who had ankle injury in the offseason, was seen limping away from the pile. Redskins’ lineman Trent Williams was one of several players throwing punches, according to fans who witnessed the fight (the practice was open to the public).
After the incident, Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles had this to say on the scrum- “Fights are not to be tolerated in pads. We’re not trying to fight them and they’re not trying to fight us. If they want to be boxers and wrestlers, they probably would be in another sport. We’re trying to get better and they’re trying to get better. Some things happen. Overzealousness. I’ll talk to my guys and Coach Gruden will talk to his guys. We’ll be better at practice tomorrow because this is just a waste of time for me.”
Veteran Josh McCown, who is in his 16th season and 2nd with the Jets, agreed with Bowles. “You’d like it not to happen, but at the same time you understand when you get two groups that are opposing teams in a practice setting. It’s part of it. Hopefully we can keep those to a minimum and go out and get work in and move on. I think that’s the ultimate goal for both sides. You want to go work hard and challenge one another to do better and get the best out of each other. When it gets into that, it’s outside of the goals for both teams and that’s not what we want to do. Hopefully it doesn’t happen.”
Head Coach Jay Gruden was asked today about the brawl between the 2 teams. “Yeah, it’s unfortunate. We got a lot of good work done throughout the course of the day and sometimes that gets overshadowed by an unfortunate incident. It’s behind us now, we’re going to move forward today and get a lot of good work done.” He added that he spoke to Bowles Monday morning, “Yes, we have talked today. If it happens again obviously we’ll separate and take the necessary action.”
Gruden was later asked if fights were predictable at practice, and what the impact is on productivity. “I don’t think they happen all the time, I just think they get blown up when they do happen so it seems like they happen all the time. Just have happened to us the last couple of times unfortunately and you know that’s on me,” the 5th year coach told the media. “You know, I gotta do a better job of making them understand the importance of practice and getting work done and not fighting. One guy gets in a fight, we just gotta do a good job of letting the referees handle it, let the coaches handle it and everybody else stay back. If that happens in a game, there’s multiple ejections and penalties that will cost our football team and that’s the most important thing we gotta make sure we get across. Today is a new day, we intend on getting a lot of good work done.”
The Jets and Redskins will have their final day of joint practice tomorrow, before an off day on Wednesday. Thursday’s kickoff is schedule for 8:00pm and you can catch the game live on ESPN. Keep it dialed in with TWN for all you football news, and make sure to follow @thewrightwaysportsnetwork on Instagram for round the league coverage of the preseason.