Tempers flare during Wednesday's practice
It took 13 practices and one preseason game, but tempers finally boiled over among the Green Bay Packers' players and coaching staff Wednesday.
There were no fewer than five separate incidents during the 2-hour, 15-minute practice, including a rare altercation between two members of the coaching staff: offensive line coach James Campen and linebackers coach Winston Moss.
The incident between Campen and Moss occurred a few plays after a scrum during a physical half-line drill early in practice where left guard Josh Sitton and the rest of the offense jabbered and tangled with inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore.
"He talked about my beard. I talked about how small his T-shirt was," Moss said. "It kind of escalated from there. I don't know what happened. It was high energy, high spirit; it was fun more than anything. I don't know how well it will be any more in the future, but I thought it was great to see players get after it, coaches get after it."
Campen is one of the Packers' longest tenured coaches. He started as an assistant offensive line coach in 2004, while Moss arrived in Green Bay with head coach Mike McCarthy in 2006.
"I was admiring Winston's beard," Campen said with a smile. "He's got a new beard this year, does he not? Yeah, It's an impressive beard. I wanted to get a closer look and took the opportunity to do that. Hey, it's an intense practice. Everything is fine. It's no big deal."
Many players in the locker room said the coaching staff stressed ramping up the energy level in practice because it was going to be one of the final lengthy sessions of camp. That emotion trickled down to every level.
Along with Sitton and Lattimore's scuffle, nose tackle B.J. Raji and center Corey Linsley got into a shoving match at the end of the half-line drill when Raji felt Linsley held onto his jersey too long.
There were a few other tussles in the team periods, beginning with receiver Jeff Janis and cornerback Antonio Dennard getting locked up when Janis was blocking after a catch from tight end Justin Perillo.
Later in red zone, cornerback Jarrett Bush mixed it up with right guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Bryan Bulaga when Lang and Bush began shoving each other at the end of a play. Near the end of practice, Gerrard Sheppard and his fellow receivers also got into with a few members of the secondary.
"It was the practice we needed," McCarthy said. "There were some challenges that needed to be met and there was some extracurricular activity … but it was a physical practice and based on the way we've scheduled the team throughout training camp, I'll look at the video, but I think we got done what we needed to get done today."
Receiver Jordy Nelson used the term "WWF" to describe some of the action in practice and mentioned it didn't come as a surprise to anyone who took part in meetings how fiery things got between the offense and defense.
"I think it's part of training camp. Guys get tired of each other," Nelson said. "At the end of the day, we know we're a team. Everyone is just pushing each other and you push each other and guys are competitive – someone wins and someone loses. The guy who loses isn't going to be too happy about it."
New injuries: LB Brad Jones (dental procedure).
Still out: DL Letroy Guion (hamstring), WR Jared Abbrederis (knee), OL Don Barclay (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), RB Rajion Neal (knee).
Returned: WR Davante Adams (wrist).