Eagles say they have moved on from Thursday's fight

I don't see any fallout," coach Chip Kelly said. "You play with emotion and don't let emotion play with you."
I don't see any fallout," coach Chip Kelly said. "You play with emotion and don't let emotion play with you." (CHARLES FOX / Staff)
Posted: September 08, 2013

The Eagles said Friday they wanted to move past Thursday's early-practice scuffle between Riley Cooper and Cary Williams. Coach Chip Kelly said there have been no repercussions from the fight, and quarterback Michael Vick said the Eagles must focus on Monday's game against the Washington Redskins.

But there's still silence from Williams, who again declined comment on Friday.

Kelly said he did not hear what Williams said during the incident but did not feel compelled to talk to him. Kelly said the scuffle was unrelated to the racial slur Cooper used at a June concert. A player told The Inquirer that Williams used the same racial slur during the scuffle.

"We went right back to team period, and both those guys lined up and played," Kelly said. "A matter of fact, Mike threw the ball deep to Riley on the first play of team period, and Cary was covering him. So I don't see any fallout."

Vick was one of the players who separated the players during the fight. With Vick in between, Williams appeared to have words for the starting quarterback.

"I try to be the peacemaker, but these young dudes don't respect me," Vick told the Daily News Thursday. When asked Friday what happened, Vick said he did not want to rehash the incident.

"I'd rather not even talk about it," Vick said. "I'm just trying to put that behind us. We've got to focus on football. We've got to focus on winning this game. Cary's OK. He understands that he has to control his temper sometime, and we all do. But we're all men at the end of the day. Sometimes tempers do flare. That's normal."

This is not the first time Williams has been involved in an altercation. Kelly said the team has talked about it with Williams and hopes he understands the ramifications.

Kelly has said repeatedly that the Eagles must practice the way they play. So incidents like Thursday's should be unacceptable.

"We address that all the time in meetings," Kelly said. "Coaches do in individual position meetings. I talk about it in team meetings as well. Making sure you play with emotion and don't let emotion play with you. You have two competitive guys, and [it got] squalled pretty quickly and squashed pretty quickly."

Kelly said Williams has not been a problem in the locker room. The team considered Williams' personality when they signed him.

The key with Williams is using his emotion as an asset. He was outspoken after the first preseason game, saying the Eagles are not a feared defense and they need to develop such an identity. He comes with a Super Bowl ring and experience with the Baltimore Ravens, with whom there was a culture of toughness that led to annual success.

Vick said the Eagles need Williams but that the cornerback cannot be so hotheaded. Vick was eager to move on from the subject, as was a team that recognizes the Williams-Cooper incident is not a positive story line in the days leading up to Kelly's first regular-season game with the Eagles.

"What happened in that 10 minutes didn't affect us for the rest of the practice," Vick said. "We all love one another. We have a brotherhood in there that extends far beyond football. It was just something that happened, and we cleared it up."

Notes: Kelly confirmed that cornerback Brandon Hughes (hand) will not play Monday against the Redskins. Hughes and tackle Dennis Kelly (back) are the only injured players. . . . Kelly watched only three plays of Denver's 49-27 victory over the Ravens on Thursday in which there were 155 plays. Kelly said the NFL has more up-tempo offenses but he doesn't see a revolutionary change. "I don't see this turning into the Arena League. I can tell you that," Kelly said.


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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