Yeah, most of the players said to the titillated reporters asking breathlessly about what had just happened, they’ve seen things like this before.
The fighting. The punishment. The coach losing his mind.
"It’s training camp," safety Logan Ryan shrugged of the all-out brawl that capped practice for the Giants and resulted in Joe Judge scrapping the rest of his workout script in favor of a grueling punishment of full-field sprints and pushups. "I don’t wish for any more training camp fights, but it’s not my first training camp fight. It’s not my 10th either."
Football players are used to seeing red in such scenarios, especially on a day like Tuesday when they were in pads for the first time this summer and the competition was getting heated after nearly two hours on the field. What made this one unique was that they also saw red at the bottom of the pile.
That’s where a crimson jersey reserved for quarterbacks so no one will make contact with them was writhing and wrestling. Daniel Jones was mixing it up with the boys, albeit in a rather precarious position as the whistles screamed, the sidelines cleared and the bodies formed a mound of humanity.
"I was fine," Jones said shortly after the melee and its aftermath.
He even seemed a little excited by it.
"I feel great," he chuckled.
Jones could have easily gotten hurt. It’s not unheard of for an ankle to be twisted or a finger busted during such confusion, even inadvertently.
But not only did he emerge unscathed, yanked from the scrum by offensive lineman Kenny Wiggins and defensive tackle Danny Shelton in a rare showing of bipartisanship between the units, Jones might have earned himself some added locker room cred.
"Golly, I love it," said running back Corey Clement of seeing Jones mix it up. "We don’t want to get our starting quarterback hurt. I’m pretty sure Daniel knows that as well. I hope he thinks twice before jumping back in there . . . But [dang], that’s what you want to see. Hats off to him."
The fight began innocently enough, with a handoff to Clement. He took a hard shoulder pop from safety Xavier McKinney in the secondary. Evan Engram took exception to that, and after some fiery words with a number of defenders, shoved Jabrill Peppers, knocking him to the ground. Things likely would have simmered down from there, but Ryan flew in and blind-sided Engram.
Then everyone joined. Including Jones, who was one of the first on the scene.
"I’m part of the team and part of the offense and we’re competing," he said. "I don’t see myself as any different."
By the time everyone was peeled off, Judge was at full throat, screaming at them to get to the goal line. The next 10 minutes featured sprints and pushups while Judge’s R-rated commentary echoed across the otherwise silent field. At one point he even kicked the team’s front office off the field so he could address "just the [expletive] players." The team then trudged off the field, sweaty and still gasping for air, toward the next parts of their day.
Clement said even after all of that, there was "laughing and joking" in the locker room. Ryan, whose hit on Engram really set things off, said he did not regret his actions and added that he planned to confront the tight end in private regarding a much more pressing topic: What they would eat for lunch together.
"Football is a great sport because even though you take some blows, it brings us together as a family," Clement said. "It doesn’t carry over . . . We have a lot of great leaders on this team and I’m happy to be a part of something that is very tough. Tough program, tough players and tough coach."
And, he and others learned or had reinforced on Tuesday, tough quarterback.
Notes & quotes: WR Kenny Golladay walked off the field midway through practice after injuring his hamstring. Golladay caught a pass from Jones in seven-on-seven drills and fumbled it after contact from the defenders before immediately grabbing the back of his right leg. The big free-agency acquisition was off to a slow start in training camp and his progress may be slowed even further if he has to miss significant time . . . Another new wide receiver was taking a step in the opposite direction. First-round pick Kadarius Toney participated in individual drills with the team for the first time in this camp after dealing with COVID-19. Toney went through drills, caught passes and fielded punts although he did not take part in any 11-on-11 snaps . . . Prior to the brawl, the Giants’ offense was having its best day of training camp. Jones completed all 11 of his passes in team drills, including a touchdown to David Sills in the red zone . . . LB Todd Davis, who signed with the team on Saturday, apparently had a change of heart and the Giants placed him on the reserve/retired list . . . WR Dennis Dillion was placed on injured reserve.