Editor's Note: The above video is from May 24, 2016.
ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio would prefer his players didn’t fight. That rule was established last season, where post-play quarrels were minimized from the outset.
It was clear Tuesday some new guys didn’t get the memo. Others needed a reminder.
Fights broke out three times during the second OTA session open to the press.
“I guess they enjoyed the long weekend or were fired up watching the Warriors close one out last night,” Del Rio said. "I don’t know.”
Guard Jon Feliciano locked horns with defensive lineman Leon Orr first, and exchanged shoves early. Guard Vadal Alexander and defensive end Damontre Moore quickly tussled late.
Those skirmishes bookended the main event, when Kelechi Osemele and Jihad Ward mixed it up and some punches were thrown. Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin made the combatants shake hands, and no ill will carried beyond the practice session.
Del Rio didn’t like the extra circulars, but capitalized on them just the same. The combatants were either new Raiders or second-year guys, and needed to know fighting doesn’t occur in Alameda.
“I think it was great opportunity to teach,” Del Rio said. “Today there some of spats going on, which really aren’t a part of what we do. That’s not how we work or how we have respect for each other. In most every case it was a new guy. I take it upon myself there to let guys who weren’t here know what the Raider way looks like.
“Hopefully we won’t waste time doing things like that. We want to play hard, but being respectful. Real toughness is playing hard without hurting the team. We wanted disciplined players, and we expect those things to occur at a real minimum moving forward.”
Things got chippy during a practice Del Rio considered “sloppy,” with some heated exchanges and a lack of execution at times.
Teammates fight in football, where intensity is high. Basic urges must be quelled on this team whenever possible.
“That’s not what we’re about,” quarterback Derek Carr. “You never want to see guys fighting, but everybody here is competitive and we’ve all gotten to that point where you wanted to punch somebody in the face on the football field. That happens, but you have to stay away from that and take care of each other.” There’s an opportunity to teach, but from a culture standpoint it’s not what you’re looking for. Hopefully, after these flare-ups, guys get the message loud and clear that we don’t want any of that.
"Guys are fighting to earn a job or roster spot so it’ll be intense, but we have to have the culture around here that we’re not about scuffles like that."