It happened on the final play of the afternoon, when running back
Ridley seemed to take offense either at what he perceived as Arrington's overzealous effort or what may have been said afterward. In frustration, Ridley tossed the football at Arrington, which sparked a shoving match between the two. Teammates jumped in an quickly broke up the dustup, which only lasted a few seconds. It was a relatively tame bout compared to the multiple sideline-clearing brawls witnessed last summer in Patriots training camp.
Afterward, Arrington tried to laugh off the incident.
"For the most part, it's over with," he chuckled. "At this point of camp, you're tired of going up against the same guys every day. Tempers flare, but like I said, it stays on the field."
Head coach Bill Belichick called an end to practice at that point (it was about time to wrap up anyway), and as he walked off the field, Ridley was involved in a rather heated exchange with cornerback
"It's camp, man. That's camp. That's all I'm going to say about it," Ridley offered reporters as an explanation for the unfortunate end to practice. "We're competitive out here, working hard every day. The days get long, that's part of it.
"We're with the same coaches, the same players... the first preseason game can't come soon enough. We're out here beating up on each other and working hard. But Philly's coming up soon. We just have to keep bettering ourselves to compete with those guys."
Normally, when on-field arguments escalate to a physical nature, it occurs on a day when the tension has been noticeably building. Ironically, today's Ridley-Arrington match happened in what had been an otherwise uneventful practice. After five straight days of practice outside in the hot summer sun, though, tomorrow's scheduled day off may be coming at just the right time for New England.
As Ridley made allusion, the Patriots will travel to Philadelphia next week to practice jointly with the Eagles for a couple of days before the two teams square off in the preseason opener on Aug. 9.
Jones-ing for more
"I've been trying to eat a little bit better and just focus on my upper body strength and certain weaknesses of my game. We have a team nutritionist [Ted Harper] who does a great job of telling us what to eat or not to eat, whether we want to gain weight or lose weight. So, a lot of credit goes to Ted.
"I feel a lot more comfortable, to be honest with you, as far as experience," Jones added. "I'm not saying I've arrived yet. I have a lot of work to do. I'm excited to get that work done."
When told he was among several rookies mentioned in a major media publication as being potential "break-out" stars this season, Jones replied, "That's the first I'm hearing of it... I try not to read things like that. Just be level-headed. You're never doing as good as you think you are, and you're never doing as bad as you think you are."
On the run
The Patriots have been in full pads the past few days after starting camp in shells (lightweight shoulder pads) and helmets the first two practices. Belichick indicated that once the full pads were on, the team would begin focusing more on the running game, both offensively and defensively, when players can move and make contact at full speed.
Blount is now in his fourth NFL season, while Ridley and
"This running back group is very young. A lot of different styles in the room," Ridley noted. "But I think that we have pretty much every running back we need: we have receivers out of the backfield, power runners, we have slashers, we have just all-around great fullbacks. We're going to work as one unit and get it done.
"Yeah, we've got a few guys [competing], but the offense calls for all of us to do a lot of things," Vereen maintained. "We have a long way to go as a group. Everybody has their things they need to work on, including myself. That's where we are."
Play of the Day: During down-and-distance situation work at the end of practice, head coach Bill Belichick called for a 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line. QB
...The Patriots, as mentioned, are off Wednesday and will return to practice Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m.
For more information about Patriots Training Camp including the latest practice schedule please visit www.patriots.com/trainingcamp