After a surprisingly tension-free training camp to start for the Oakland Raiders, tempers are finally beginning to flare during a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams. The team was happy about the lack of fights thus far, but football is a violent game and it’s not uncommon for players to lose their cool. We’ve already seen some high profile brawls involving a number of teams this offseason.
“We really believe etiquette is important,” said head coach Jon Gruden when asked about the team’s lack of fights, per Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News.
That’s not very Raider-like coming from the head coach, but it makes sense. There’s no need to risk injury with fights in practice. However, Gruden’s dream of having a fight-less training camp came to an end. We can now add the Raiders and the Rams to the list of training camp brawls. One of the Raiders rookies appears to be the one to blame for causing things to escalate.
First Fight of Training Camp
Being an undrafted rookie trying to make the team, you have to do the best you can to stand out. Well, Raiders’ rookie offensive lineman Tyler Roemer did just that by starting a fight against the Rams, as ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry revealed.
While the coaches likely didn’t love seeing the brawl, the crowd seemed to love it. It’s still unclear who or what exactly got Roemer going, but he clearly wasn’t happy about it. Rams coach Sean McVay did his best to cool things down. It may just be practice, but Roemer is looking like a player who opponents may not want to mess with. He has a long way to go in order to earn a spot on the roster, though, and starting fights won’t help his chances. He faced suspensions in college previously while at San Diego State, so it’s probably smart for him to try and stay out of trouble. Hard Knocks may have potentially captured the whole fight in detail, so that will be something to look forward to in Tuesday’s episode.
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Aaron Donald, Gabe Jackson Get in Shoving Match
Shortly before Roemer went on the offensive, Gabe Jackson and Aaron Donald got into a tussle. The Raiders’ starting right guard has been holding his own against the consensus best defensive player in the NFL. Apparently, that has caused the two men to not get along very well, which The Ringer’s Robert Mays helped to explain.
Jackson is one of the more underrated offensive linemen in the NFL and has been a consistent member of the Raiders offensive line since he was drafted in 2014. It’s hard to know what exactly got the two men going, but their shoving match likely played a part in the eventual brawl. When Donald played the Raiders last season, he was mostly ineffective. A lot of this was due to Jackson’s stout blocking ability. Donald is used to having his way with most offensive linemen, so he probably doesn’t like it much when he meets a player capable of holding their own against him.