Scuffle in Patriots-Titans joint practice downplayed


NASHVILLE -- Tempers flared during Thursday's joint practice between the Patriots and Titans.

Stephon Gilmore and Titans rookie receiver A.J. Brown exchanged words and a few shoves after one play in 11-on-11 work. Terrence Brooks came over and added a few more before order was quickly restored.

The McCourty twins, Mike Vrabel and multiple others went over to diffuse the situation. 

Speaking afterwards, Vrabel downplayed the incident.

“If that’s a fight to you, man, you’ve never been in a fight," he said.There were also a few other brush fires that needed to be put out over the course of the session, including during linemen 1-on-1 drills.

“We just don’t want any punches thrown,” Vrabel said. “… I understand that it’s competitive. They’re pro football players. We want them to be really competitive. Is there going to be pushing and shoving? Yeah, we figured there would be. But the players, can they play with enough composure to get it broken up like they do in the game and go back? There’s pushing and shoving in every game; if you don’t throw a punch, they’re going to let you go and they’re going to get you back in the huddle.”Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan was involved in one of them, but said it's part of the game.

“That happens, man,” he said. “I mean, it’s a competition. People want to get into it. People want to get chippy. One guy does one thing and just escalates, and it kind of snowballs a little bit. Then you nip it in the bud, and it is what it is. It was solid. It is what it is. That type of stuff happens all the time. … Both teams handled themselves very well in those situations.” 

The two teams will meet Saturday night in the second preseason game for both teams.