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Tensions ran high in Pittsburgh on Monday, where a brawl broke out on the Steelers practice field.
Reports say that the day was pretty normal from a practice standpoint, until a couple players began pushing and shoving and then reportedly threw some punches.
The players involved include vets left guard Kevin Dotson, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Chase Claypool. It started with words between the three guys in the final period of practice, but then a number of other players got involved.
“It’s the end of camp. Everyone is ready to play everyone but us, other than preseason,” defensive end Chris Wormley said on the incident.
“Sometimes that’s part of football.”
These things are common, especially late in camp. A couple teammates start barking at each other and even come to blows, but everything usually settles within a day or two.
If there’s one coach who can get his team under control though, it’s Mike Tomlin.
When asked “about what happened in the end zone down there,” Tomlin replied, “What? What are you referring to?”
“The scrap in the end zone,” the reporter said.
“Yeah,” Tomlin answered, “I have no idea what you’re referring to.”
Tomlin is such a players’ coach he’ll never throw a player under the bus, even though some coaches relish the chance.
The Steelers have played well this preseason for the most part, winning two of three games despite being outscored 81-75. Most of that separation comes from the 23-point loss to the Carolina Panthers on Friday.
The team has gotten exactly what it needed from veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger during camp. He looked sensational in his only preseason outing.
Maybe more importantly is how explosive rookie running back Najee Harris has looked. He showed off his catching skills, making two grabs for 53 yards, including an impressive 46-yard catch-and-run.
In two preseason games, Harris rushed for a total of 30 yards on 27 carries, numbers that would make most coaches and front offices cringe. However, that won’t matter come Sunday, September 12th in Buffalo when everything really becomes real.