By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
In a practice between two opposing teams taking place in oppressive heat and humidity, it’s inevitable that tempers are going to flare. Unsurprisingly, it appears that we’ve had our first fight of joint practices between the Patriots and Titans.
Although it’s been an eventful two days for regular ol’ football production on both sides of the ball, obviously the scuffle that broke out is going to get the most attention. Ultimately, everyone will likely shrug and say “It’s football.” It’s also likely a product of the heat and humidity, which can get to anyone. But it’s certainly the kind of incident you wish you could’ve gotten to see on video, popcorn and all.
Especially considering that the brouhaha involved Stephon Gilmore, easily the most soft-spoken player on the Patriots. But it’s not terribly surprising. If you recall, Gilmore got into it with Julian Edelman during one practice back in his first season with the Patriots in 2017. Gilmore definitely plays with a lot more intensity than he exudes in his press conferences.
According to multiple reports, he tangled with Titans rookie receiver A.J. Brown and it briefly broke into a mini-brawl that brought several players from both teams into the crowd. Patriots safety Devin McCourty and Titans head coach Mike Vrabel were credited with restoring order.
Here’s a rundown of how the brawl was reported from Patriots beat writers in attendance in Nashville:
A shoving match between Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Brown turned into a full-on scuffle. Jason McCourty tried to play peacemaker but then Tajae Sharpe got in his business. Mike Vrabel ultimately put it to an end.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 15, 2019
A small fight just broke out. It started with Stephon Gilmore and AJ Brown. Then Devin McCourty came in. Titans rushed in and then Terrence Brooks got involved— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 15, 2019
Fight! (Sorta) Gilmore and A.J. Brown locked up after a rep. Devin McCourty tried to separate them and a ballyhoo ensued. No ejections.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 15, 2019
FIGHT! A.J. Brown and Stephon Gilmore went at it after the whistle during 11-on-11s. Devin McCourty, Terrence Brooks and Tajae Sharpe then jumped in, followed by the rest of the team. Mike Vrabel finally sprinted over and yelled some NSFW things to break it up.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 15, 2019
Pretty good Dustup just erupted. Rookie AJ Brown remained locked up with Gilmore after running play. Neither was letting go. Brown said some stuff. Gilmore shoved. It was on. Devin McCourty probably the most active Pat in the scrap.— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) August 15, 2019
Emotions rise at Patriots-Titans joint practice, with Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and Titans rookie WR A.J. Brown locked up after whistle, with Patriots S Terrence Brooks getting in a few shoves as a crowd arrived at the scene. It was extinguished shortly thereafter.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 15, 2019
Stephon Gilmore and Titans WR AJ Brown just mixed it up during a full squad red zone play. Devin McCourty tried to make peace and then everyone jumped in. Mini donnybrook chilled quickly. No players got the boot. Hot here. #Patriots— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) August 15, 2019
There was plenty else to pull from the live-tweeting at joint practice. Here are some more highlights.
— Attendance: WR Maurice Harris is the only new absence on Thursday. However, fellow WRs N’Keal Harry and Phillip Dorsett did not participate in full and left early. Julian Edelman and Demaryius Thomas remain present but not in full uniform as they’re still on the PUP/NFI lists.
Patriots training camp Day 25— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 15, 2019
Absent: Maurice Harris, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson
PUP/NFI: Edelman, Thomas, Meredith, Cajuste
Returned: Jamie Collins
— Patriots rookie CB Joejuan Williams is coming on lately. He made a pass breakup against Titans WR and former top-10 pick Corey Davis.
Patriots rookie CB Joejuan Williams just wrapped up 1-on-1s with a pass breakup over Titans WR Corey Davis.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 15, 2019
— With all of the injuries at receiver, the Patriots had to begin 11-on-11 drills with two undrafted free agents (Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski) and free-agent addition Dontrelle Inman as Tom Brady’s weapons. Meyers, however, has long-earned his starter snaps and continues to look like a real find.
First three Patriots WRs in 11v11s: Jakobi Meyers, Braxton Berrios and Gunner Olszewski— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 15, 2019
— Speaking of Meyers, sounds like he burned former Patriots CB Malcolm Butler for a catch over the middle.
Jakobi Meyers made a nice move over the middle of the field to fake out Malcolm Butler. It made for an easy wide open catch. This kid is pretty good.— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 15, 2019
— Patriots CB J.C. Jackson followed up Wednesday’s pick-six with a pass breakup that almost turned into another interception for a TD.
J.C. Jackson very nearly had his second pick-six in as many days. Broke up a short pass to DeAngelo Yancey but couldn’t hold on.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 15, 2019
— Sounds like the heat is really getting to Patriots tackle Dan Skipper.
Patriots tackle Dan Skipper losing his lunch again today. He was carted off at the end of practice yesterday after throwing up— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 15, 2019
— The calm before the storm: shortly before the scuffle between Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Brown, Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon and Titans LB Kamalei Correa got into it during 1-on-1 drills.
Some chippiness between Marcus Cannon and Titans LB Kamalei Correa during 1-on-1s. Correa didn’t appreciate an extra shove from Cannon and got in his face.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 15, 2019
— Tight end Ben Watson dropped a would-be touchdown in 7-on-7s. It apparently drew jeers from Mike Vrabel, who was known to morph into a tight end at times in his Patriots career.
Ben Watson dropped a ball in the back of the end zone in 7-on-7s. Mike Vrabel chirps at Brady and Watson: “I never dropped one of those. Let me know if you need me to report.”— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 15, 2019
— Just before he scrapped with A.J. Brown, Stephon Gilmore made a pass breakup on Corey Davis. If you remember, Davis toasted Gilmore in their matchup during last season’s 34-10 Titans win over the Pats.
Great PBU in the back of the end zone by Stephon Gilmore on Corey Davis, the only wideout to really give Gilmore problems last season.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 15, 2019
— Patriots DT Adam Butler apparently got banged up during practice.
Looks like Adam Butler got banged up. Training staff looking at his right leg.— Kevin Duffy (@KevinRDuffy) August 15, 2019
— Brady had to shift around in the pocket before hitting James White for a touchdown during 7-on-7s.
Brady with some nifty pocket movement to hit James White on a little curl for a TD during red zone 11v11s. #Patriots— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) August 15, 2019
— Brady made up for Watson’s drop with a long touchdown pass in 11-on-11s.
Ben Watson just got lost in the secondary and went about 70 yards for a TD In 11 on 11. Big smile as he waltzed into the end zone.— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 15, 2019
— Patriots second-year CB Duke Dawson reportedly had his best day of camp so far. That’s not saying a ton, but he really needs to show something in these final three weeks. Bill Belichick has a tough decision on his hands at cornerback, where he may ultimately have to move on from his 2018 second-round pick.
Duke Dawson is having perhaps his best practice as a Patriot. He's had pass breakups in 1-on-1s and 11-on-11s. He went undefeated in 1-on-1s.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 15, 2019
The Patriots currently have a walkthrough scheduled for Friday, but there’s no media availability. They’ll take on the Titans in preseason action on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Nashville.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.