Cary Williams got into skirmishes with Patriots WR Aaron Dobson in practice, Panthers WR Steve Smith in a game, and teammate Riley Cooper on Thursday. (AP)
Cary Williams has to calm down, Michael Vick said. Has to learn to control himself.
Because he’s no good to the Eagles if he’s getting kicked out of practices and games. He’s no good to the Eagles if he’s watching from the sideline or the locker room.
Williams, who shoved head linesman Steve Stelljes in the Super Bowl, who got booted out of joint practices with the Patriots because of a fight, who brawled with teammate Riley Cooper on Thursday, could become a problem for the Eagles if he doesn’t get his act together, Vick said.
“I know after yesterday, Cary understands that we need him on the football field, not to be hot-headed at times,” Vick said. “We know he’s a guy who’s very into his work and what we do, and he can’t be high-strung all the time.
“He’s got to stay even-keel like everybody else, just out of respect for the game more than anything.”
The generally loquacious Williams has not spoken with the media this week. He got started off in Philly on the wrong foot when he skipped a bunch of non-mandatory offseason workouts to attend his daughter’s dance recital and to oversee some construction work on his new home.
Williams signed a three-year, $17 million contract on March 15 after starting 16 games last year for the Super Bowl-champion Ravens.
He was supposed to help provide stability to a cornerback position that was in disarray over the last two years, with struggling former Pro Bowlers Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But instead, he’s been a distraction more than anything since arriving here (although Chip Kelly says otherwise).
He fought with Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson during the joint practices last month, he fought with Steve Smith during the preseason game with the Panthers, and then he fought with Cooper on Thursday.
“We’ve got to focus on football," Vick said. "We’ve got to focus on winning this game. Cary’s OK. He understands that he has to control his temper sometimes, we all do, but we all are men at the end of the day and sometimes tempers do flare, but that’s normal.”
As for the skirmish with Cooper, Vick said that was over as soon as order was restored.
The two practiced together the rest of the day Thursday and all day Friday without incident, according to Vick.
Most of practice Thursday and Friday was closed to the media, although the 1-on-1 portion in which the fight took place on Thursday was open.
“We all love one another, we’ve got a brotherhood in there that extends far beyond football,” Vick said. “It was just something that happened. We didn’t think anything of it.”