NASHVILLE — The second and final day of Patriots joint practice with the Tennessee Titans was a hot one.
That’s literal and metaphorical.
It was so hot out at the Titans practice facility that for the second-straight day, a player, Dan Skipper, vomited on the field. On this day, tempers also got red hot between the Patriots and Titans. There were already multiple dustups leading up to a competitive 11-on-11 on Thursday when a small skirmish broke out.
The fight started when Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Brown locked up following a play. Neither the Patriots cornerback nor the Titans receiver wanted to let go. Devin McCourty tried to play peacemaker, but then several Titans rushed the area. McCourty fought back with some help of his teammates. Patriots safety Terrence Brooks was also involved in the skirmish at that point.
Tempers boiled over for a brief moment on Thursday, but overall the intensity of the day’s practice session will likely benefit both the Patriots and Titans.
Tom Brady started strong going 7 for 9 in full-team drills before the Patriots offense stalled. Brady went 3 for 8 in the final period, finishing 10 for 17 in 11-on-11 work. Brady also went 8 for 11 in 7-on-7s.
It was easy to see why Brady was having a tough time. Phillip Dorsett was sporting a wrap on his left hand/thumb and didn’t participate. Neither did Maurice Harris, who left Wednesday’s practice early. Tight ends Matt LaCosse and Stephen Anderson didn’t practice, either. That left Brady with an inexperienced receiver group.
Undrafted rookie Gunner Olszewski replaced Dorsett in the first-team offense. In the final 11-on-11 period, Brady’s receivers were Olszewski, Braxton Berrios and Dontrelle Inman. Jakobi Meyers looked like the best Patriots receiver on the field, but he finished practiced playing with Brian Hoyer.
Hoyer finished practice going 6 for 8 8 in full-team work and 2 for 3 in 7-on-7s. Jarrett Stidham had a rough day going 1 for 6 in 11-on-11s and 2 for 2 in 7-on-7s.
Jamie Collins returned to practice after missing Wednesday’s session. The Patriots defense looked dominant against the Titans. Among the players that finished with pass deflections were Dont’a Hightower, JoeJuan Williams, Duke Dawson, J.C. Jackson and Jason McCourty.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel continued to playfully trash talk the Patriots. After Ben Watson couldn’t hang on to a Brady touchdown, Vrabel noted that never happened when he was playing tight end for the Patriots and asked if the Pats needed him to step in.