NFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Falcons centre Hawley tossed from combined practice with Titans for role in another fight

  • Print

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - A visit from the Tennessee Titans on Monday didn't change the tone of the Atlanta Falcons' fight-filled training camp.

One day after defensive end Ra'Shede Hageman was injured while throwing a punch at Joe Hawley, another fight involving Hawley led to the centre's expulsion from practice. Tennessee cornerbacks Tommie Campbell and Coty Sensabaugh also were involved in the altercation only about 20 minutes into the combined practice.

Falcons coach Mike Smith said he tossed Hawley because players are ejected from games for fighting. Smith vowed Sunday that the fights must end.

"The guys knew the rules of engagement. They were violated," Smith said. "When they are violated, there's going to be a consequence. ... During a game, if that were to happen, we're going to lose a player. We need to know that we can't be fighting."

Hageman practiced Monday after X-rays showed no fracture in his wrist. Falcons offensive guard Gabe Carimi left with an apparent leg injury.

Smith said the departures of Hawley and Carimi, both projected starters, "put a lot of stress on some other guys" on the offensive line.

Still, quarterback Matt Ryan said he continued to be impressed by rookie first-round pick Jake Matthews, who is starting at right tackle.

"He really is as savvy as any rookie I've been around at any position," Ryan said. "He plays very physical and he's extremely athletic. I've been very impressed with him up to this point and I'm excited we were able to draft him."

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was happy there was only one real altercation in the second combined practice between the teams in three years. He said at least one fight was almost inevitable as players had their first chance of the year to practice against another team.

"Competition. You could feel it when you first walked on the field," Whisenhunt said.

"I was right over there by (the fight). We got it over, got it out of the way and moved on. We thought it might come. It came early and after that everybody settled down."

Titans quarterback Jake Locker said he was surprised there was only one fight since the practice fields were filled with "guys who consider themselves for the most part to be alpha males."

Whisenhunt, who praised Locker's performance, said the Titans can learn from new looks provided by the Falcons.

"The best value of this is we get a chance to see our players compete against some other ones, and now we get to go back and look at it on tape and make some corrections and clean some stuff up," Whisenhunt said.

Players wore full pads but, with the exception of a few overzealous big hits, there was no tackling.

Titans left guard Andy Levitre, who had an appendectomy on July 24, beat the timetable of his doctors, but not Whisenhunt, by participating in the practice.

"Andy said he wanted to come and do this, so that was the call," Whisenhunt said. "That was ahead of what some predicted. We didn't think that. We thought he could do that and he did it. It was good to see him out there."

NOTES: The Titans host Green Bay on Saturday night in their preseason opener. The Falcons host the Miami Dolphins on Friday night. ... Falcons undrafted rookie WR Bernard Reedy showed impressive speed in breaking free for two long, crowd-pleasing touchdown catches. ... Titans DE Mike Martin (hamstring), DT Antonio Johnson (left knee) and TE Dorin Dickerson (strained leg muscle) were held out. ... Early in the practice, Smith introduced Whisenhunt to former Falcons star LB Tommy Nobis, who was watching from the sideline.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Charles Odum on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CharlesOdum

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google