Columns & Blogs

Panthers vs. Dolphins lacking in fisticuffs

Players clear the benches during two on-field fights during the joint Cowboys and Rams practice Tuesday.
Players clear the benches during two on-field fights during the joint Cowboys and Rams practice Tuesday. TNS

The drills most likely to lead to a fight Wednesday took place at the same time on the same field. A Carolina Panthers’ defensive lineman would try to beat a Miami Dolphins’ offensive lineman. A Miami defensive lineman would try to beat a Carolina offensive lineman.

Carolina guard Trai Turner took on Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh’s initial thrust sent Turner, who weighs 320 pounds, almost airborne.

Carolina tackle Michael Oher took on Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon. Vernon, who starts for Miami, ended up on the ground. After the takedown, Oher, 6-4 and 315 pounds, stood over Vernon, 6-2 and 275 pounds.

Now, did Oher stand over him as if to ask, “How you like me now?” or “I got your Blind Side right here?”

Or was Oher simply tired? And since he already was standing over Vernon did he decide it would be a good place to rest?

Whatever the reason, Vernon stood up and threw an open-handed punch at the big man. Then they tangled. Then other linemen joined them to participate or to break it up. The result was that the scrum immediately moved several yards.

When teams that wear different jerseys go against each other in training camp, fights ensue. Did you see the Dallas Cowboys’-St. Louis Rams’ brawl royale Tuesday? There were so many fights that practice was called off.

The Carolina-Miami get-together wouldn’t have made the Dallas-St. Louis undercard. There were so many 300-plus-pound guys in the Carolina-Miami scrum that it was tough to see above or around them.

Fellows, could you please move? Don’t make me go out there.

What occurred in the middle will forever remain a mystery.

The Oher-Vernon scuffle quickly ended. As training camp battles go, last week’s Cam Newton-Josh Norman tiff was much more interesting.

Coaches had warned their players not to fight, and players apparently listened.

A one-hand slap does not necessarily constitute a fight. But on Wednesday morning on the Wofford practice fields, it’s all we had.