BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly both agreed last week that any players who engaged in any sort of altercation during the teams’ joint practice sessions would be held out for the rest of that practice. Despite the warning, it didn’t take long for a fight to break out, with Eagles cornerback Cary Williams and Patriots rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson going at it on Tuesday.
The two players didn’t participate in the rest of that practice session, and no other fights broke out. But over the weekend, with the Patriots out of town, Williams said he started the fight on purpose.
“They came in here talking. They had a lot of jokes and … laughs, and a lot of dirty plays that were going on,” Williams said, according to Philly.com. “There was a reason behind [why I got in a fight], a reason behind the madness.”
Williams expanded on what some of those “dirty plays” might have been in a video on NFL.com.
“Those guys I play with, whether they be on offense or defense or special teams, those are my brothers,” Williams said. “Every time I strap up, that’s my family. And when I see guys getting blocked in the back in practice, when we’re getting told not to retaliate and be the bigger person, it’s hard because I come from a different background. Me just relaxing and being cool and letting those people do what they do to me and me being a doormat is something I’m not used to.”
Several reporters noted, however, that the fight came at the very beginning of 11-on-11 drills, meaning there had been no opportunity for the Patriots to illegally or dangerously block any Eagles prior to the fight.
When it came to explaining what kind trash talk was coming from the Patriots, Williams had a tougher time pinpointing the issues.
“It was just saying, their D linemen talking, a few of them talking about, you know. And then you had a couple of DBs saying trash, talking like you know,” Williams said. “They came into our facilities and they were doing some dirty things. They were doing some good things too. But my mind was on the dirty stuff.”
The 28-year-old Williams has a history of showing a short fuse. He was suspended and then kicked off the Fordham team in college, and he shoved an official in the middle of a scrum during the Super Bowl last season. Williams was punching a San Francisco player prior to the official entering the area.
“To me, I feel like the 49ers are pretenders,” Williams said at the time. “They’re fake tough guys.
Williams spent the past three seasons in Baltimore, arguably the Patriots’ biggest AFC rival in that period, so it’s not surprising to see him harbor some strong feelings about New England. He also said that if the Patriots had acted the same way in a practice against Baltimore, things would have been different.
“It definitely would have been a different situation if it was in Baltimore,” Williams said, according to the Philly.com article. “It wouldn’t have been a fun practice for the Patriots, I’ll tell you that.”
Unfortunately for Williams, his Eagles won’t see the Patriots again this year, so he won’t be able to settle any more scores. Unless, of course, the two teams meet in the Super Bowl.