The Denver Broncos offense didn’t have the best day on Sunday, and a few of the players were visibly upset when it was all said and done.
On Monday, they weren’t going to get pushed around again. Regardless of how well they moved the ball, they came back out with an attitude. That attitude came to the surface on one particular play when linebacker Zaire Anderson brought down newly signed running back Stevan Ridley. Offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo wasn’t too pleased with the hit, and a small skirmish broke out as a result.
While the skirmish was nothing major, the Broncos’ first-round selection in 2017 summed the reasoning behind it perfectly.
“We had to, man,” tackle Garett Bolles said of the scuffle. “Things happen in practice and we’re a team. That’s how we’re always going to be – we’re going to be a family but family fights. Brothers and sisters fight all the time and that’s what happens out here sometimes. Sometimes your aggression gets the better of you.”
A seven-year NFL veteran, Ridley knows that these things happen. According to Ridley, he and Anderson fixed the issue shortly after the scuffle.
“It’s football,” Ridley said on Monday. “You’re going to have that. I didn’t think it was anything bad. I went up and talked to the guy a little bit after and we put it behind us.”
While fighting with a teammate isn’t necessarily a good thing, there are some positives that can be taken away from the scuffle.
For Ridley, a Bronco of just five days, it was refreshing to see one of the veteran linemen have his back.
“I love it,” Ridley said of Sambrailo. “When you have those guys up front with an attitude, as a running back, you can’t help but smile. It makes our lives easy knowing that we have some guys up front going to war with us. It’s a real treat this early to see that. Everybody is aggressive. Everybody wants to play, but like (Head Coach Vance Joseph) said, we have to play together as a team to be smart. You are going to have that in camp but it’s nothing major. We’re going to leave that on the field.”
Ridley wasn’t the only one who appreciated the gesture. Joseph also liked the fire that the offensive line showed, but he knows that the scuffles can’t continue as camp progresses.
“I think when you see your offensive line defend your running back, right, wrong, or indifferent, you kind of enjoy seeing that,” Joseph said. “You want to build toughness. You want to build guys tight to carry your teammates. Obviously, you can’t fight in games. That’s the part, from my chair, that you can’t allow. You can’t build habits of fighting when adversity strikes because in football games, it’s going to be a bad result. I don’t mind some of it, but I understand you can’t do it in a football game. So, we can’t have it.”
While scuffles aren’t good, they are a part of training camp in the NFL. Things happen, but the Broncos know that they’ll have eachother’s backs come game time.
“It’s good to have Ty and the offensive line in there having our back and stepping it up,” running back C.J. Anderson said. “That’s good. But, at the end of the day, we are teammates. We can’t fight on Sundays. If we do fight on Sundays, just make sure they’re not wearing orange and blue.”