Bills QB Josh Allen Sends Bold Message About Fights at Training Camp

Josh Allen

Getty Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws during Bills training camp at Saint John Fisher University on July 24, 2022 in Pittsford, New York.

The Buffalo Bills are not holding back until the regular season starts to show intensity on the field. Since training camp opened up at St. John Fisher University nine days ago, three physical fights have erupted between teammates. The latest incident occurred on Thursday, August 4, with Bills’ star wide receiver Stefon Diggs throwing some punches at defensive end Greg Rousseau.

Last week, superstar quarterback Josh Allen got aggressive with defensive end Jordan Phillips, and on Tuesday, wide receiver Tavon Austin got into a fight with safety Siran Neal.

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While so many skirmishes at camp could be a cause for concern, as tempers flaring on the field during a regular season game can lead to costly penalties, Allen told the media on Thursday that there’s nothing to worry about, mentioning how he got Phillips an apology gift following their flare up at practice.

“Tempers fly, it was the first day of pads. Camp’s long. I was probably in the wrong there,” Allen said of his personal incident with Phillips. “But, again, just trying to get some guys juiced up ready to go. It’s football. Yeah, so that’s all it was. It was nothing. I got him a box of Pro V1 [golf balls] for pushing him, I felt bad. But it’s all in love. We’re just trying to push each other, trying to be great.”

‘Good Teams Sometimes Fight,’ Allen Said

Allen didn’t promise there would be less fights moving forward, as the team returns to Orchard Park for their annual Blue & Red Scrimmage at Highmark Stadium on Friday — he boldly stated that these kinds of altercations can be expected when every player is putting in their best effort, especially for those working to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

“Sometimes, it’s necessary,” Allen said of teammates getting physical at practice. “Good teams sometimes fight. Guys want it so bad, guys are very competitive, guys push each other.”

“So you saw a little tempers flare again today,” Allen continued, referring to the dust-up between Diggs and Rousseau. “And again, that’s all because we want to win. We want to work really hard. We want to beat the guys across from us and it doesn’t matter who it is. But it’s good to see the intensity right now coming out from both sides of the football and the whole team because we just want to win football games.”

Head coach Sean McDermott is more content forcing players to cool things down rather than to pick it up, according to Allen.

“Things get chippy when guys are working hard and trying to beat the other guy across from them,” the 26-year-old Wyoming alum said. “I think that’s kind of just the spot where we’re at. Guys want to win. Guys want to beat each other. We’ve got a lot of talkers on this team, too. So it’s been a fun camp, it really has been. And I appreciate the intensity from both sides of the ball.”

Von Miller Loves Seeing Tempers Flare at Practice

Allen isn’t the only team leader completely fine with all the scuffles breaking out during training camp. After practice finished on Thursday, eight-time Pro Bowler Von Miller, who’s attending his first Bills’ training camp, addressed Rousseau’s altercations and took partial credit for the 6-foot-6, 266-pound defensive end getting after it.

ESPN’s Alaina Gatezenberg tweeted, “Rousseau sparked a fight in practice today, swatting at Stefon Diggs while he had the ball. Von Miller just described Rousseau as ‘a demon on the football field’ and that he’s been feeding him ‘gasoline and gunpowder’ to help bring it out in him.”

On a persona level, however, Miller says he’s too old for skirmishes at camp. “When it comes to fighting out there, that’s past my time,” he said, per Bills reporter Maddy Glab.

As for another Bills’ veteran, Diggs, he’s not shying away from any fights, and has gotten into a few altercations with rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam during training camp. The two-time Pro Bowler said he’s not simply hazing the team’s 2022 first-round pick, but trying to get him ready for a seamless transition into the NFL, especially during a year where the team’s mentality is Super Bowl or bust.

“I feel like we got a lot to build off of, just as far as, like, a team and as a unit. As far as individual, he’s a good player,” Diggs said of Elam. “You know, he was drafted in the first round. Of course, they’re going to expect a lot out of him immediately, but I feel like he’s up to the task and hope we can build off it.”

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