There may have been five bouts on the undercard, but Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans and Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey stole the show with their main event.
Most of the football related news coming out of recent practices has been overshadowed by fights that broke out between the Saints and Texans.
And I for one am not surprised.
Last year the Texans traveled to New Orleans and held joint practices with the Saints leading up to their preseason game against each other. During one of the sessions a fight broke out on the practice field.
This year the Saints came to Methodist Training Center for a similar set of practices. After reading the comments following Wednesday’s practice one could tell there was a tense air in camp. The Saints came out hitting hard Wednesday morning, which was just a shoulder pads and shorts practice. The Texans were a little surprised by this and were somewhat sluggish. Tensions ran high, but there were no scuffles, yet. Quarterback Matt Schaub said this about the fighting, “It might happen, we still have time.”
Well Mr. Schaub, you were correct.
According to the Houston Chronicle, at least six separate incidents occurred on Thursday morning. The Texans’ website has the number at four.
Early on, former Texan and current Saint, Troy Evans started a little fight. Another scuffle started after a Saints player allegedly threw a football at a Texan.
The first big fracas occurred when fullback Vonta Leach took offense to some aggressive play on Ryan Moats. Leach stormed into a group of Saints players and started scuffling. He ended up on the ground, with his helmet off, underneath a pile of Saints.
The main event though was between Shockey and Ryans, at least as far as the names of the players involved. After a pass play intended for Shockey he and Ryans traded swings. Texans linebacker Xavier Adibi jumped in and threw Shockey to the ground.
Head coach Gary Kubiak was very diplomatic in his post practice comments. He said that he liked the intensity but wants his players to keep cool. Some reporters tried to bait him into saying he liked the fighting, but Kubiak did not go for it. He then said, “You've got to be there for each other, it makes your team strong, but at the same time, you've got to keep some composure and play.”
It will be interesting to see how all of this tension affects the game on Saturday.
About the Author
Written by Gabriel Rodriguez
Born in Germany, early childhood in NYC, raised in the D.C. area, currently reside in Charlottesville, VA. Big fan of the NY Giants and San Antonio Spurs.