NFL Notes: Fights Break Out in Several Training Camps

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As the weeks progress in NFL training camps, it's not unusual to see players grab each other by the jersey, wrestle, yell a few profanities and then get separated by teammates as the coaches repeatedly blow their whistles.

It's the old boys-will-be-boys approach, and the New York Giants have been going through it lately as camp stretches into its second week and players don shoulder pads.

Coach Ben McAdoo doesn't mind it. He wants his team to be physical. He wants his players to know what it is like to hit and be hit.

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What the second-year head coach doesn't want is the prolonged scrums. Invariably, someone gets stepped on or knocked down and an injury happens.

"The extracurricular stuff after the whistle is something that irritates the vets, and those are the things we need to put an end to," McAdoo said Thursday. "You can be physical and you can be heavy-handed; you can fit your pads in and you can finish, but when that whistle blows, that extra stuff after the whistle is unnecessary."

Seahawks: Clark ejected for punching Ifedi
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark was tossed from practice Thursday after punching teammate Germain Ifedi in the face during a heated skirmish between offensive and defensive linemen.

Defensive tackle Malik McDowell also reported to the team after missing the first three practices of training camp after injuring himself in an ATV accident.

Clark was sent off for the final half hour of practice after his punch dropped Ifedi to the ground. Ifedi also left practice as he was being attended to by trainers after the incident.

"Disappointed we had a couple guys get after it today," coach Pete Carroll said. "There's no room for fighting in football. It is not part of this game. It's not supposed to be part of this game, and we frown upon that very heavily. Real disappointed that that happened today. We have to learn and get better and be right."

Patriots: Fans' adoration highlights Brady's 40th birthday
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady was already the oldest player on the Patriots roster before he stepped out on the practice field for training camp Thursday.

He spent the abbreviated workout being constantly reminded he's now a 40-year-old quarterback.

From a sculpture spelling out "G.O.A.T." that was erected near the entrance of the practice field gate to multiple chants of his name to sporadic "Happy Birthday" serenades from spectators -- everything revolved around No. 12 and his 40th birthday.

"It's fun. It reminds you that Tom's old. Very old," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "But I think he has a lot of fun with it. A lot of guys sung `Happy Birthday' in the locker room. But it's also a reminder of how good he's been. Forty years old and still our best player" (see full story).

NFL: Goodall says Kaepernick not being blackballed
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says teams aren't blackballing Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem last year.

"No, teams make decisions (based) on what's in the best interest of their team ... and they make those decisions individually," Goodell said Thursday following his appearance at a forum with about 200 fans at the Denver Broncos' indoor practice facility.

Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with the 49ers on March 3, has drawn interest from Seattle and Baltimore but remains unemployed a year after throwing for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 games. Several teams have signed lesser backups without giving Kaepernick a call.

Goodell demurred when asked if he thought Kaepernick should be in the league based strictly on his talent.

"There are other people who make those evaluations and that's a decision that those teams all make individually," Goodell said. "It's not one that I would make as a commissioner" (see full story).

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