We've reached that part of camp: when players are sick of wearing pads each day, doing drills in the heat, rooming with teammates and seeing each other's dumb faces every damn moment of every damn day. Scuffles broke out for a second straight day at Bills camp, leading coach Doug Marrone to bring practice to an early end, and pretty roundly curse out anyone who talked back.
Thursday's final straw was pretty minor: WR Marquise Goodwin and CB Sam Miller got in each other's face after competing for a pass. But Marrone yanked the Bills off the field, and would brook no dissent.
"Get your (expletive) right," he screamed at the team as he ordered them to line up on the sideline to run a sprint.
Defensive end Jerry Hughes said something back to the coach, leading Marrone to direct a string of expletives at him, saying at one point "you don't have to play on this team." Hughes' teammates implored him to step away from the confrontation.
Marrone may just have been trying to head off a scene like Wednesday's, when several players got involved in a full-scale brawl centering around rookie DE Bryan Johnson, who exchanged swings with C Eric Wood and OG Chris Williams, and rolled around on the turf with TE Scott Chandler. At one point, "Wood screamed he would murder the rookie who did it."
At top is a photo mid-brawl, from ESPN's Mike Rodak. Here's some video:
On Thursday, everyone was downplaying the significance of the testiness. Marrone met with Jerry Hughes and they apparently hashed out their differences, with Marrone telling him his comments had been directed at the entire team.
But Marrone did tell the assembled media he would prefer the Bills to knock this shit off.
"Guys I'm going to say it again, and I'm not going to answer another question. We're responsible for the integrity of the game. Can you figure it out? Figure it out. We're responsible for the integrity of the game. There is no use for fighting in the game of football. Period. End of discussion. Move on."
Shorten the preseason.