Training camp always has its fair share of scuffles, but Geno Smith's broken jaw and high-profile players like Cam Newton and Dez Bryant getting in scraps with teammates has cast fights on the practice field into the spotlight and the NFL wants players to chill out a bit.
In a memo sent to all 32 NFL teams on Friday, the league's executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, warned players that fights aren't a good idea.
"As professionals, no matter how emotional the game becomes, there is nothing that should resort to fighting," Vincent wrote. "Coaches are encouraged to emphasize to players, coaches, and other club personnel who are on the sidelines, that fighting will not be tolerated."
While the NFL doesn't care much for fights, a lot of people do. Willie McGinest even said that if he was in charge of the New York Jets he would have given IK Enemkpali a contract extension for showing a fighting spirit because that's the type of player he wants to go to war with.
Beyond the hot takes about the value of fighting, plenty would say they're just plain fun to watch. Even the Dallas Cowboys think so, proudly sharing a fight from practice as a "MUST WATCH."
So I, a training-camp-fight-watching enthusiast, decided to rank the top scraps of 2015:
1) Dez Bryant vs. Tyler Patmon
This is about as good as it gets. Helmets off with big shots and both players brushing it off after practice as a fight between "brothers." I'm not sure if it's the best way to build team chemistry, but it didn't seem to hurt it much and the Cowboys were pretty fired up about it, so hey ... all's well that ends well.
2) Washington vs. Houston
A joint practice devolved into chaos with fights all over the place when Vince Wilfork delivered a late hit, and cameras were everywhere to catch it all, including the crew from HBO's Hard Knocks. A fight between two teams doesn't always have the benefit of guys jumping in to break things up and nobody wants to be the guy who stood around and did nothing while his teammates went to battle. So, things can often escalate and that phenomenon was on display, eventually resulting in the two sides just giving up and working separately:
3) Cam Newton vs. Josh Norman
My favorite part about the fight in Carolina is that Cam is smiling:
HE'S ALWAYS SMILING. Also, he's 6'5, 250 pounds and strong and probably not too worried about 195-pound Norman doing much to him, so why not enjoy it?
4) Marlon Moore vs. Preston Brown
There's no video of this one, but apparently Cleveland Browns wide receiver Marlon Moore took off his helmet and traded blows with Buffalo Bills linebacker Preston Brown, who said Moore "came at [him]" as he walked off the field. More like a skirmish than a fight, but at least nobody's JAW WAS BROKEN.
5) Geno Smith vs. IK Enemkpali
I only ranked five fights, so that's why this is fifth. If I ranked 25 fights, it would've ranked 25th. This is everything bad about training camp fights rolled into one. The fight happened over a $600 plane ticket and ended with the starting quarterback's jaw broken and the other player immediately waived from the team, although he was later claimed by the Bills. Todd Bowles has the ongoing challenge now of not allowing the fight to split the team after some players said Smith deserved it, while only Brandon Marshall has publicly come to the quarterback's defense.