Bruce Arians said he does not want to see his players fight each other during practice.
Though tempers tend to flare as training camp wears on and the physical nature of the game can lead to a scuffle or two, the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach has made it perfectly clear that Cardinal-on-Cardinal crime will not be tolerated.
So when defensive tackle Darnell Dockett and offensive lineman Bradley Sowell had a little dustup Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium, the coach punished them by having them leave practice.
They didn’t head straight for the locker room, though. No, the two were ordered to briskly take laps around the field where their teammates were practicing for the remainder of the session.
“We were coming off the big win, obviously, as a team where we looked good,” Sowell said. “The message today was to come out and don’t be complacent. Obviously me and Dockett had the same mindset there. Neither one of us were going to go there. It happened the way it happened.
“We were both being competitive and it got a little heated.”
Indeed. Dockett ended up pushing Sowell’s head into the ground a couple of times before the two were separated by teammates.
Dockett did not speak to reporters following practice, but appeared the two did some talking while running their laps.
Sowell said the two understand how things go in the NFL, that every now and then the competitiveness can manifest itself in that way. They each want to win, he said, which is why it’s easy to move on from it all.
“If you noticed, every drill, we got into a skirmish every drill, so I knew it was going to eventually get heated,” Sowell added. “But we’re teammates. At the end of the day it’s done. It’s done now. Both of us want to get better, so it’s how it happened.”