Hazing rituals have gone by the wayside in the NFL after the Miami Dolphins ruined it for everyone. The team’s harsh bullying tactics took it too far. But there is still a time and a place for making the rookies earn their stripes — and sometimes it involves fried chicken sandwiches.
Eagles rookie Shareef Miller was carting around uniforms and pads for the veterans on the defensive line as he was leaving practice Thursday. The young defensive end was also feeling $100 lighter in the wallet after picking up a large fast-food order for the older guys on the team. Miller, a fourth-round draft pick out of Penn State, told reporters he was required to pick up 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, 15 Chick-n-Minis and 10 hash browns as part of a fun “hazing” ritual. It was all in good fun and Miller laughed about it after practice.
‘Hazing’ No Laughing Matter in NFL
The ritual of hazing rookies all but came to an end in 2014 after a report surfaced of Dolphins veterans conducting “a pattern of harassment that included racial slurs and vicious sexual taunts,” according to ESPN. The incident sent shockwaves through the NFL and got the main culprit, Richie Incognito, suspended and almost kicked out of the league for good. However, there are still forms of “hazing” — if you want to call it that — that occur in the NFL, on a more jovial scale.
On Thursday, Fletcher Cox confirmed that Eagles rookies were asked to buy the veterans Chick-fil-A. Meanwhile, center Jason Kelce laughed at the notion of “hazing” and offered that the only thing the rookies on the offensive line, namely Andre Dillard, would be doing was buying them a nice dinner.
“Not big on hazing,” Kelce said. “We’ll have a rookie dinner at some point, for Dillard — and that’ll probably be a big one. But outside of that, they’ll go on the stage and they’ll do a little dance and pony show.”
A “dance and pony show”, huh? Intriguing. Kelce went on to say that no one carries his pads for him, not his style.
“No, I can carry my own pads,” Kelce said.
Kelce’s offensive linemate, Brandon Brooks, shared that sentiment. He added that they may ask the rookies to stock the fridge with water and put snacks in the break room, maybe tell a few jokes, but that was about it.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said the defensive rookies were also required to get on stage and tell some dirty jokes, although none of them could be repeated in front of the media. They were a bit too graphic “for the cameras,” according to Graham.
Miles Sanders Injured at Eagles Practice
There was a minor scare at Eagles practice Thursday when Miles Sanders was rushed to the medical tent in the middle of 11-on-11 drills. According to head coach Doug Pederson, the rookie out of Penn State suffered a minor foot injury and should be fine.
“Miles is good. We’re going to get a few more evaluations after practice but seems like everything is okay,” Pederson said.
Sanders didn’t take another rep on the day, but he did work on the jug machine after practice and seemed fine.
“I think the biggest thing for me was how well he came back in shape coming off those injuries in the offseason, missing so much offseason time,” Pederson said of Sanders. “His conditioning, keeping his weight where we asked him to be, and then just attacking every single day. We have monitored his reps, so we’re not overdoing it with him.”
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