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Rookie Sean Donnelly self-restrained with Giants

New York Giants tackle Sean Donnelly speaks to

New York Giants tackle Sean Donnelly speaks to the media during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

The Giants already have had three fights in their training camp, there was a highly publicized brawl between Washington and the Texans at their joint practice Saturday morning, and the Giants are heading to Cincinnati to practice with the Bengals for two days in pads next week.

In other words, no one is expecting things to go peacefully.

Just don't expect rookie tackle Sean Donnelly to be in the middle of any of the fisticuffs. He learned his lesson.

Last November, when he was playing for Tulane, Donnelly got into a fracas with teammate Tanzel Smart that ignited a larger brawl on the team. Tulane coach Curtis Johnson decided to punish Donnelly and Smart the way a parent might with his children.

He made them run around the field for 20 minutes. While holding hands. The rest of the team watched and then continued practicing while the two players ran laps around them.

"That was a funny experience,'' Donnelly said. "It was an interesting move by my head coach. I don't know if coach Coughlin would do something like that.''

Johnson said at the time he had used similar sentencing with his daughters after their squabbles.

"If they want to act like kindergarten kids, then I just want to treat them like kindergarten kids,'' Johnson told The Times-Picayune when the crimes and punishments of the football players were reported.

Donnelly said all he remembers about the incident is that he was very tired after the running. It did not seem to spark a lifelong bond with Smart, either. Asked if he keeps in touch with his hand-holding partner, Donnelly said he's been busy with other things.

But in one regard, it worked.

"I haven't fought in a practice since,'' he said.

He was on the field this past week when Giants teammates Michael Bamiro and Dominique Hamilton traded punches, but he did not jump in and escalate the fight. Perhaps somewhere in the back of his mind was the memory of that 20-minute run with Smart.

Maybe it will be on his mind in Cincinnati, too. Tempers are sure to flare. There undoubtedly will be heated exchanges. Will Donnelly be in the middle of any of it?

"I'll try not to be,'' he said.


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