Football is back! That means so is the tension that comes with reforging a team to seek out a championship. However, there must be something in the water in New York state. From the city to upstate, NFL teammates took their frustrations out on each other across the Empire State, to the amusement of the fans watching in the stands.
On Saturday, as the New York Giants were practicing in East Rutherford, New Jersey, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence made a play that prompted left guard Shane Lemieux to tackle him to the ground.
Shane Lemieux and Dexter Lawrence just got into it big time AND I LOVE IT pic.twitter.com/0cs4dBKRTt
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) July 30, 2022
The events preceding the dustup came from the Big Blue offense running a quarterback sweep at the goal line. Once defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence planted right guard Mark Glowinski into the ground, left guard Shane Lemieux saw it and felt some type of way, prompting him to make it known.
Immediately, Lemieux ran over to Lawrence and attacked him to the ground. That caused a ripple effect, and defensive end Leonard Williams, upon seeing his fellow defensive lineman was getting attacked by Lemieux, he went over to help Lawrence and stapled Lemieux to the turf.
The fans were there to capture it all, and after the play was over so was the scuffle. Running back Saquon Barkley went over to cool down the defense, and practice continued as cooler heads prevailed.
However, it was only an indication of what was happening league-wide. Up in Buffalo, 26-year-old quarterback Josh Allen set off the first training camp fight when he needed to assert his dominance on the field.
— Greg Cover 1 🏈 (@GregTompsett) July 30, 2022
Allen threw to Isaiah McKenzie in the back of the end zone, looking for a two-point conversion. McKenzie ran it up the middle completing the conversion; however, the overaggressive defense hit the QBs, distinguished by his red jersey to protect the quarterback.
Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips bumped Allen at the end of the play, and Allen, in a fit of frustration, tossed the ball and shoved Phillips with quickness.
Immediately both sides began a pushing match, with it eventually being broken up and the quarterback ultimately being protected.
Josh Allen needs to rock this visor full-time. 🔥
— theScore (@theScore) July 30, 2022
“Immediately you want him out of that pile,” Buffalo Bills center Mitch Morse said to local Syracuse news. “Emotions are allowed to get high — it’s an emotional sport. Tensions run high at times, but you never want it to be carried over or get carried away and someone can get hurt. And then you have some real trouble on your hands, and things can escalate quickly.”
However, the tension is natural, given the team’s pressures. Morse continued explaining that the players weren’t sleeping well and reminded reporters how the difficulties of being away from family would blend into the physicality, so little incidents like this one tend to happen.
“Stuff like that, especially on the first day [of pads] is gonna happen,” he said. “It’s just a bunch of fiery competitors out there, regardless of who it is. When Josh comes out like that and has a show of emotion like that it definitely catches your eye. But in the end it never makes its way to the locker room.”
Football season is back, and so are the alpha tendencies that come with it.