The New York Jets have already lost their starting quarterback to intrasquad fighting this offseason, and head coach Todd Bowles does not want to see anything like that again.
On Sunday, Bowles made his players run sprints on an incredibly humid afternoon after two fights broke out on the practice field. No punches were thrown, but Bowles was clearly irritated by a handful of dirty plays.
“We understand that we can talk mess and we can jaw at each other,” he said after practice, according to The Associated Press. “As long as the hits are clean, we’re fine. But we’ve got to take care of each other at the same time. There’s no cutting and there’s no hitting in the back and those types of things. There’s no cheap shots. If it’s good clean play, I don’t have a problem. They can talk all day.”
Bowles made the team run five “gassers,” which are full sprints from one sideline to the other and back. He said his policy on fighting did not change in the wake of the Smith incident.
“No, my rule is the same going in,” he said. “You fight and hit somebody on the field, I don’t think it got bad out here, but you want to prevent it before it started.
“We’re not trying to hurt each other. At the end of the day, we all need each other, but it’s a fine line. The mess-talking, the bravado and swagger and everything is fine, but you have to understand situational football at the same time. You can’t fight and be braggadocious and be loud if you don’t understand what’s going on in the game.”