There is a reason that football players hate training camp. The intensity, the heat, and the pressure of most knowing that they are fighting for their professional lives. It gets to most players in the NFL at one point or another, even after they’ve signed a multimillion dollar deals.
DeSean Jackson got into what was described as the “best fight of camp so far” with corner Brandon Hughes. Punches were thrown by both players, though none landed directly on the intended target.
Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly described the scene as follows:
Jackson lined up on the left side and Hughes had tight coverage during an 11-on-11 play. The pass fell incomplete and the play should have been over. Only it wasn’t. The scuffle started with some pushing back and forth before punches were thrown. The two had to be separated.
D-JAX was described as being more heated than Hughes and had to be calmed down on the sideline by coaching intern Greg Lewis. It is then that Jackson remembered the leadership role he wants to have on the team. Oh, and his guaranteed starting position.
“I’m a starter on this team and I’m one of the leaders. Don’t want to cause anything, you know, me getting hurt. [Lewis] didn’t want anything stupid to happen and have me be out for the year. We just have to be smart with things like that. He didn’t want me getting hurt. It’s football and it’s part of the game.”
If I’m being honest, I too could be driven to violence if forced to exercise vigourously in this heat. Things happen. But I am not a professional football player who was just given millions of dollars by my team (I know, this is a shocking revelation) and who is trying to convince the world that he is more mature than the sulky player we witnessed far too many times last year. Jackson has to do more than simply proclaim that he is a leader of the team after last season’s antics if he really wants to prove that he has matured and deserving of that role.
Hughes’ comments after practice about the fight?
I’m not talking about that [expletive].
And there you have it.