Within a few moments of kicking off practice, the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins, who were conducting a joint practice in Richmond, Virginia, broke into three scuffles. Whether it was a cornerback being run-over or an argument that escalated into haymakers, the situation became untenable and neither team was establishing a foothold to get work done. Despite being the final of three joint practices between the teams, emotions simply spiked and the intensity soured.
Realizing the situation was simply uncontrollable, Head coaches Bill O'Brien and Jay Gruden called an audible during Saturday's joint session, with each team occupying their own field. "It wasn't worth it," Gruden said via the Washington Post. "Obviously it wasn't a good situation. We missed an opportunity to get better today against a good team."
More teams are taking advantage of joint sessions, creating situations and scenarios that teams normally wouldn't see during normal practices. Cincinnati will host the New York Giants this week, conducting two joint practices on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, prior to their preseason opener on Friday night at Paul Brown Stadium.
New York head coach Tom Coughlin "won't tolerate" any fights or brawls this week. "I heard about it. It's already been addressed," Coughlin said via the New York Post. "[Bengals coach] Marvin [Lewis] and I have talked about that. We want good, solid work but we don't want any of that."
The Bengals aren't strangers to joint practices during training camp. Cincinnati hosted New Orleans in '07 and visited Atlanta in '13. Last year, the Bengals and Jets tried to work out a joint practice, but it fell through.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is a fan of joint practices, as he believes they offer up a chance for players after a long training camp of practicing against each other:
"It's great that we were able to make this work with Coach (Tom) Coughlin and the Giants," said Lewis via a press release. "It's not something we've been able to do every year with another team, but our past experience with it has been good. It helps our guys stay sharp and focused as we move through the preseason. You put yourself on the field with another team and let the competitive juices flow a little bit."