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Antonio Brown thrown out of practice as Buccaneers, Titans brawl four times

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TAMPA – The tone of Thursday’s joint practice between the Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became clear early during one-on-ones.

Bucs star wide receiver Antonio Brown and Titans second-year defensive back Chris Jackson got into a scuffle after a rep. Brown ripped off Jackson’s helmet, then threw punches, even hitting Jackson square on the cheek. Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton and Bucs coaches hopped into the fray to break up the skirmish. Brown was subsequently kicked out of the practice.

But the Brown-Jackson fight was just one of a handful in a feisty session.

“Man, it’s (training) camp,” Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons said. “It’s football.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) fights with Tennessee Titans defensive back Chris Jackson (35) during a joint training camp practice at AdventHealth Training Center Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) fights with Tennessee Titans defensive back Chris Jackson (35) during a joint training camp practice at AdventHealth Training Center Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.

Four skirmishes broke out Thursday, the second and final day of joint practices between the Titans and Bucs ahead of their preseason game Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

In addition to the Brown-Jackson mix up, there were two altercations during special teams periods. In one punt coverage rep, Titans wide receiver Fred Brown and Bucs cornerback Herb Miller got tangled on the ground at midfield, where Brown wound up on top of Miller. Another scuffle involved the Titans’ Nick Dzubnar and the Buc’ K.J. Britt.

The fourth skirmish occurred during an 11-on-11 period. It broke out on the sideline after a play, with Titans wide receiver Cam Batson and Bucs linebacker Devin White among those involved. Both teams jumped in. Titans coach Mike Vrabel got in the middle of the fight to help break it up.

To Simmons, the spirited nature of Thursday’s practice represented “the nature of the game”: players on both sides competing.

“It’s a very (aggressive) sport,” Simmons said. “We don’t want punches thrown, but sometimes there’s going to be pushing and shoving. … Everybody trying to compete to be the best that they can be each and every day.”

Titans left guard Roger Saffold, who wasn’t involved in a skirmish Thursday, joked that he was “too old” to get mixed up in a fray.

“I look at it like, ‘It’ll get in there,’ and then I see that it’s 50 yards away, and I’m like, ‘maybe I’ll just chill and rest,’” Saffold said.

Overall, though, Saffold feels like the Titans got a lot out of the last couple days.

He referred to the two joint practices as “two games.” And with the offensive line banged up – starters Nate Davis and Ben Jones didn’t practice in Tampa, while star left tackle Taylor Lewan only participated in individual drills – the group upfront got experience that will pay dividends later, Saffold added.

“It was kind of like a heavy-weight bout, especially in the trenches, man,” Saffold said. “You kind of want that. You kind of want them staying there as a team. I thought that we really played for each other. Everybody played hard. In this type of weather and humidity, guys were just out there fighting.

“Going against somebody that’s not your team, you’re just going to get higher, faster and more physical reps," Saffold continued. "And you can’t duplicate these reps, except in a game.”

Vrabel was understanding of the competitive nature of Thursday’s practice.

“Regardless of if there’s side bars or altercations, I get it,” Vrabel said. “It’s hot out there. Guys are competing and trying to finish. Those things come up.”

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Antonio Brown thrown out of practice as Bucs, Titans brawl