Scuffles during training camp happen most places, and each head coach has their own unique way of dealing with it, whether it's simply breaking it up and moving on, making the two players hold hands and take a few laps around the field, or another approach entirely.
For Bill Belichick, he handles each and every fight during practice the same - he kicks players involved out immediately, noting to ESPN that would be the punishment in a game, so why would practice be any different.
So when veteran players Julian Edelman (WR) and Stephon Gilmore (CB) got in a short tussle at practice the other day, just after it was diffused by players and support staff, Belichick sent both players home.
ESPN summed up Belichick's outlook on fighting perfectly with their closing line:
"Fiery competition is good, but there's zero tolerance when the line is crossed from fiery competition to a selfish act that hurts the team."
Asked about it later, coach Belichick offered an interesting response, via
The first rule of Bill Belichick Fight Club is don't talk about Bill Belichick Fight Club. pic.twitter.com/ZWKKhJMMON
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 2, 2017
Few programs are built like the Patriots so we can't all adapt Belichick's philosophy, and while we can all probably agree that some fieriness during practice can be a good thing, there comes a point where it becomes selfish and only hurts the team. Deal with the issue accordingly.