Sick and tired of getting pushed around, Broncos pick a fight with Cowboys – The Denver Post


As the temperature spiked and tempers flared, with no less than a half-dozen dust-ups that sometimes led to fisticuffs, somebody should’ve hosed down these undisciplined Broncos and churlish Cowboys and sent them all to bed without dinner.

“You’ve got to walk that swag,” said Denver linebacker Bradley Chubb, who set the chippy tone in a joint practice between two NFL teams Thursday that developed a dislike for each other in record time. “You’ve got to walk the walk and talk the talk.”

The mayhem was instigated by the Broncos. It was no accident. Chubb admitted he and teammates had talked about their practice facility being a sanctuary, where no guff from visitors would be allowed.

Sick and tired of the Broncos getting pushed around in the NFL, Chubb lowered his shoulder and knocked the Dallas star out of running back Ezekiel Elliott, then did a little dance to celebrate a hit that went beyond the norm in a controlled scrimmage where tackling to the ground is strictly verboten.

“You ain’t got to do that,” said Elliott, while crossing paths with Chubb on his way back to the Dallas huddle.

Chubb replied: “My bad, bro.”

I’m not so certain the apology was entirely sincere.

From the first snap of this scrimmage at Dove Valley headquarters, where first-team offensive players squared off against their top defensive counterparts on side-by-side fields with an overflow crowd of Broncos and Cowboys fans buzzing, Chubb seemed intent on sending an ornery message:

Don’t mess with Denver.

When Dallas receiver Noah Brown caught a short pass from quarterback Dak Prescott and casually jogged the football back to place it for the next snap, Chubb walked up and knocked the pigskin from Brown’s hand.

That chippy little bit of animosity quickly boiled over into open hostility.

“Tempers flared a little bit,” Chubb said. “But that’s just the nature of football.”

On a summer morning when the thermometer seemed determined to reach 90 degrees before noon, tempers on the field where the Dallas offense and Denver defense collided were volcanic.

When Chubb wasn’t talking smack, teammate Marquiss Spencer was blindly throwing punches at whatever foe from Dallas was within reach, or Broncos defensive tackle Mike Purcell was ripping the helmet off Brown and tossing it 10 yards across the field.

Football can be pure testosterone and the violence is part of the reason we love it so. But at times, this turned into a clown show. So much so that veteran Broncos safety Kareem Jackson asked everyone to take a deep breath and chill out.

“99% of the time, I’m usually the one pouring gasoline on the fire,” Jackson admitted.

This time, however, Jackson said he “tried to play peacemaker so we could get some work done. I didn’t want to get it any uglier than it already was.”

One hug at a time, new Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett is all about making NFL training camp as much like summer camp for big kids. It’s also fair to wonder: If his defense had gone off the emotional rails on a hot summer day, would former coach Vic Fangio have been bashed for not properly being in control of highly paid professionals?

Had the Broncos been any more undisciplined on this day, they might as well have swapped their orange and blue for silver and black, then acted like the wannabe pirates who wear Raiders uniforms on NFL Sundays.

“At the end of the day,” Chubb said, “it’s all love.”


Source link