New England Patriots

Cole Strange of the New England Patriots walks onto the field before 2022 training camp at Gillette Stadium. (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

Cole Strange was supposed to meet the media after Patriots practice on Tuesday, but ended up not talking, and we assume it’s because he was a naughty boy.

It wouldn’t be a summer practice in the NFL, frankly, without a little skirmish every now and then. Even between teammates. We saw the worst of this when the Patriots and Panthers practically broke into a scene out of Cobra Kai during a joint practice last August.

And it didn’t take long for things to get overheated between Patriots players, as we had our first scuffle of the season on Wednesday.

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  • These things happen quickly and it’s always hard to see every detail of an incident like this, but we’ll do our best to piece it together. The Patriots had just run a play in a competitive 11-on-11 period, which was reasonably competitive with starters going against each other.

    That’s when Strange and linebacker Anfernee Jennings played a little too long after the whistle, resulting in some hand-fighting that went a little beyond football. David Andrews and Deatrich Wise were right in the middle of the fray, appearing to try to break things up.

    Defensive tackle Christian Barmore, however, went way beyond football when he got into the pile and appeared to take a swing at Strange. Those two seemed to be considered the prime culprits in the fight, as they watched the rest of practice from the sidelines.

  • May 23, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive lineman Cole Strange works on a blocking drill with offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) (right) Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

  • It’s important not to blow these things out of proportion, because they happen every year and even the best teams in the league aren’t immune to it. But it sure makes for some interesting football coverage in a setting that usually is not particularly interesting.

    Most of the time, these things can be chalked up to the uncommonly high level of intensity and passion that you get with professional American football clubs. These guys are intense as it is, and sometimes there are clashes. That’s basically how Wise summed it up when he spoke to reporters after practice.

    “People on our team are very passionate about what they do. Things happen,” Wise said. “Only thing we have to do is continue to work hard, work on our fundamentals, watch the film, see where we can correct our mistakes, and just move forward from there.”

  • Welp, that’s that. Seems like we’re going to emerge from this latest tussle saying that’s just football guys doing football things.

    And considering how early it is in the off-season workouts, and that we’re still over a month away from training camp, this probably won’t be the last time we’re talking fights. But again, that’s just talking football.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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