Camp nutshell: Cary Williams pulled for fighting

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Camp nutshell: Cary Williams pulled for fighting

August 6, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Cary Williams was yanked from the Eagles' joint practice with the Patriots on Tuesday after getting into a fight with Aaron Dobson. (USA Today Images)

Cary Williams was missing again. This time, it wasn’t for his daughter’s dance recital or to oversee the sconces being installed at his new home.

This time it was for fighting.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly yanked Williams off the practice field Tuesday after he got into a fight with Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson about 45 minutes into the first Eagles-Patriots joint practice at the NovaCare Complex.

Williams, a projected starting cornerback, mixed it up with Dobson for a few moments after a pass play. A few other players jumped in, but the altercation was quickly broken up.

And that was it for Williams … and for Dobson, a rookie second-round pick from Marshall.

Neither returned to practice, and Kelly explained later that he and Patriots coach Bill Belichick had agreed that anybody who got into a fight at practice would be done.

“Yeah, we both talked,” Kelly said. “Someone got in extracurriculars, they were going to be done for the day. It was one way we made sure that didn't continue.

“So I don't know exactly name-wise who it was for them, but he sat and [Williams] sat. That was one thing we agreed upon. We didn't want this to turn into a wrestling match.

“Both of our squads knew before it happened. If you're going to get in a skirmish, you're going to sit.”

Brandon Boykin got the first-team reps in place of Williams after he was benched.

Running back LeSean McCoy, who left practice early on Monday with a sore knee, returned Tuesday but again left early with continued knee soreness.

Receiver Arrelious Benn, who returned Monday after missing eight days with a sore knee, also left practice early. It was later announced that Benn suffered a torn ACL (see story).

Running back Felix Jones and wide receiver Damaris Johnson both left practice with hamstring injuries.

Also, linebacker Connor Barwin was sent home before practice began because of illness.

Receiver David Ball (quad, hand), defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (hamstring) and offensive linemen Dennis Kelly, Jason Peters (hamstring) and Ed Wang (knee) all sat out practice.

Play of the day
Riley Cooper, in his first practice since Thursday (see story), made a terrific leaping catch in the back of the end zone of a 45-yard Michael Vick pass during 11-on-11 against the Patriots’ first team.

With second-year cornerback Alonzo Dennard in coverage, Cooper caught the ball at the apex of his leap and then stutter-stepped his feet just in-bounds for the TD.

The sound of silence
The giant speakers that usually blast Black-Eyed Peas, Wiz Khalifa and AC/DC during Eagles practices were silent on Tuesday.

Thank you, Bill Belichick.

Kelly said he and Belichick -- who does not blast music at his practices and has won three Super Bowls -- agreed that both teams would be better off if the joint practices ran silently.

“We just wanted to get practice in, so I'm not dealing with distractions,” Kelly said. “Had a lot of situations where we're calling things out, where is the ball, what group is in and all those things. I think our players are used to it. It doesn't sound like they do it. So not to cause confusion, we just wanted to practice against each other and get a lot of good work in.”

Kelly has said he only has music blaring during practice so his players can get used to distractions while they play.

“I think when you first notice it or do it can be distracting the first couple of times you're out there, and that wasn't what we wanted to get accomplished,” he said. “We just wanted to go out there and practice against a really good football team.”

Reps for Phillips
Kenny Phillips got most of the reps Tuesday with the first defense ahead of Nate Allen. Phillips, limited to just seven games because of a knee injury last year, has not gotten much work with the first defense since joining the Eagles.

This and that
Almost all the practice reps were devoted to the first and second teams, with the third teams relegated to a final session on a side field. … Tom Brady was 20 for 20 during one-on-one drills. He didn’t miss many throws in the other drills either. … Kelly left the door open for Matt Barkley to get first-team reps this preseason, even though he hasn’t gotten any yet.

What’s next
The Eagles practice again Wednesday with the Patriots at the NovaCare Complex. Thursday’s session, one day before the preseason opener, will be mainly a special teams workout, Kelly said.

The joint workouts are closed to most fans, open only to a handful of randomly selected season-ticket holders.

Open practices
The Eagles return to the Linc Sunday for the third of five open practices.

Most of the free tickets have been distributed, but a handful are still available at or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

Tickets also remain for the open practices at the Linc on Aug. 17 and Aug. 26.

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