Anger raged Thursday afternoon during the Raiders-Rams joint practice in Los Angeles ahead of Saturday night’s preseason bout.
A scuffle ensued during the special teams portion of practice, with coach Jon Gruden pulling the plug on the joint session, getting his players on the bus to leave after tempers couldn’t be settled on the field. The Rams finished the rest of their practice, per reporters on the scene.
“I thought we had great work today until special teams, right at the end of the special teams period,” Gruden said. “I have no idea what that was, but that’s enough of that crap. That’s not good for football, that’s not good for anything, that’s the end of that practice session.”
Asked if there was any message to the team after calling the practice off early, the coach said the players know it’s not professional.
“There’s no message. They know. They know better,” he said. “Everybody knows better. And again, it wasn’t everybody fighting. It’ll be on TV. You’ll see a bunch of guys screaming and yelling. But it was two guys in a special teams period, and then it was a lot of trash-talking that escalated. It’s just sickening, really. It’s just stupidity. I’m done with that. It’s just child’s play to me.”
Rams coach Sean McVay was mum about the scuffle, saying simply: “It’s unfortunate we didn’t get to finish up (the joint session), but that’s kind of where I’ll leave that at.”
The Raiders and Rams will face off Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET on NFL Network. We’ll see if another brawl ensues. If it does, there will be more than a perturbed coach for players to deal with.