There were no all-out brawls during the first joint practice between the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. There was quite a bit of trash talking, as expected, but the day was devoid of any fights. That wasn’t by accident.
According to Fletcher Cox, the leadership councils from the two teams wanted no funny business. They met on the field prior to the live scrimmage on Thursday to lay out the ground rules.
“We’re here to practice. We’re not here to fight,” Cox told reporters. “If we wanted to fight, we’d put gloves on and go get in the ring, right? So I think the biggest thing for us — we talked about it before practice, their leadership council, our leadership council — and we talked about just being here to get better and nobody’s here to fight.”
But plenty of words were exchanged on Day 1 in Berea, Ohio. Eagles RB Jason Huntley and Browns CB Parnell Motley had to be separated on a punt coverage session. Motley was upset about Devon Allen knocking down one of his teammates and literally hurdling him. Several Browns players took offense to that.
“Why get mad at an Olympian? That’s what he does,” A.J. Brown said. Remember, Allen is a two-time Olympian in the 110-meter hurdles.
Meanwhile, DeVonta Smith got into a “spicy” back and forth with Browns safety Richard LeCounte. The two guys have a long history dating back to their high school days. Not only that, Smith (Alabama) and LeCounte (Georgia) faced off in some epic SEC battles.
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Watch Out for Potentially ‘Special Duo’
Linebacker has been a bit of an enigma for the Eagles ever since Jeremiah Trotter left town. The position has largely been neglected in recent drafts, causing one fan-favorite podcaster to hilariously put Howie Roseman on blast.
But those days appear to be over. The Eagles are entering the 2022 campaign with a strong linebacking tandem. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox singled out T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White as two guys to watch out for this season. He thinks they could be a “special duo.”
“Between both of those guys K White and TJ, I think they’re making each other better,” Cox told reporters. “It’s really, really good to see them flying around on tape and I think they’re pushing each other. Which I think when you got backers like that, that’s pushing each other the way that they are, and doing the things they do together, I think they have a chance to be special as a duo.”
Marcus Epps Returns: Updated Injury Report
Seven Eagles players were missing at Thursday’s practice: James Bradberry (groin), Miles Sanders (hamstring), Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), Javon Hargrave (toe), Jason Kelce (elbow), Christian Ellis (hamstring), and Greg Ward (toe). That’s the bad news.
On the flip side, safety Marcus Epps returned from a back injury and reprised his starting role with the first-team defense. Boston Scott (concussion), Le’Raven Clark (hamstring), and John Hightower (groin) were all full participants, per NBC Sports Philadelphia.