Patriots Captain & Young Star Involved in ‘Big Scrap’ at Practice

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Things got a bit testy at New England Patriots practice on Tuesday, August 9. As speculation about the struggles of the Patriots’ offense continue to be a significant topic through training camp and we get closer to playing real games, there was an apparent edginess to the vibe in Foxborough.

Veteran center David Andrews and second-year standout defensive lineman Christian Barmore got into an altercation that was described as a “fight,” “big scrap,” and an “extended scuffle” by members of the media who were present.

As’s Mike Reiss noted, according to team rules, players who fight during practice are sent to the locker room or removed from activities.

According to Phil Perry of NBC Sports, Andrews was seen running conditioning drills on the hill.

Considering Andrews missed the first few days of training camp on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, it stands to reason he may have needed some additional time for conditioning.

As Alex Barth of 98.5, The Sports Hub tweeted, the “big scrap” led to the emptying of both sidelines.

Nacion Patriota caught the end of the scrap on video:

Fights in training camp and practice aren’t new to football or team sports, for that matter. Many may remember some high-profile scraps between former Patriots QB Cam Newton, his Carolina Panthers teammate Josh Norman, and former Washington Commanders Michael Westbrook and Stephen Davis.

The scrap between Andrews and Barmore, though it was also the second dust-up Andrews had that day, was much milder than those examples of in-fighting. Still, when things aren’t going as planned, it’s almost inevitable you’ll see tempers begin to flare.

Patriots Teammates React to the Fight in Practice

Patriots veteran and three-time Super Bowl champion Devin McCourty was unimpressed with the fight. Per NESN’s Zack Cox, McCourty said, “it’s a little late for all that. That isn’t going to help us win,” referencing the timing of the scrap and the relative ineffectiveness the episode will have on the Patriots’ bottom line.

McCourty added he is eager to eliminate the offense-vs-defense mentality that exists in Patriots training camp and to graduate to the point where the two units are on the same sideline.

Quarterback Mac Jones stuck his nose in the pile during the dust-up in an attempt to break up the two behemoths. Jones seemed to take the fracas a bit more lighthearted than McCourty. Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels captured Jones discussing the fight.

Jones did mention he respects both Andrews and Barmore. Perhaps most importantly, both men were fortunate to escape the situation with no injuries.

New England can’t afford to lose either starter. Still, the offense–which has already struggled to find continuity–would have difficulty absorbing the absence of Andrews for any length of time.

The Offense Showed Some Improvement on Tuesday

By many accounts, the Patriots’ offense looked better on Tuesday than it had in recent practice days. NBC Sports’ Tom E. Curran said the offense “was much more crisp at points today after a week of spinning its wheels.”

Perhaps the way Andrews’ amped-up aggression manifested itself on the field was initially negative but helped to fuel what most in Patriots Nation hope to be a steady improvement.

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