FOXBORO (CBS) – Wednesday night’s scuffle at Patriots training camp between offensive lineman Nate Solder and linebacker Brandon Spikes is no big thing, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

“Football is competitive, and we’re in a competitive camp, so I think some of those things are just part of football,” he said.

During a goal-line drill, Solder threw a hit Spikes’ way as the linebacker was on the ground. It sparked a bit of a tussle between the offense and the defense, and Spikes actually had to take a medical break after.

But Belichick doesn’t think the extracurricular activity following the play was over the line.

“No, football is football,” he said. “We deal with a lot of things in football. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

With a career in football that spans for nearly 40 years, Belichick said he’s seen much bigger scuffles in his days. He doesn’t mind then occurring, just as long as they stay away from the sidlines.

“The big thing I try to do is stay out-of-the-way and not get hit,” he joked. “It’s happened more than once. I’d be the last one to try to break that up.”

“They’d probably all go after me,” he added with a smile.

While things got pretty heated Wednesday night, Belichick said he plans on taking practice down a notch or two as the Patriots close out their second week of camp.

“I think the players are working hard. They’ve taken the coaching and things we’ve asked them to do and tried to work on them. I see some improvement here,” Belichick said.

“I think we’re moving in the right direction,” he added. “Hopefully we can continue to take one good step in the right direction and see where we are a week from now when we go against another competitive team.”

The team will have Saturday off, returning to practice on Sunday as they get ready for next week’s preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.

The Patriots and Saints will hold a joint practices Tuesday and Wednesday at Gillette.


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