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Tempers flare as Bucs and Jaguars show some fight

Tampa Bays Buccaneers Maurice Fleming (30) is grabbed by the Jacksonville Jaguars Jamal Robinson during a joint NFL football practice, Tuesday n Jacksonville. [Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP]
Tampa Bays Buccaneers Maurice Fleming (30) is grabbed by the Jacksonville Jaguars Jamal Robinson during a joint NFL football practice, Tuesday n Jacksonville. [Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP]
Published Aug. 16, 2017

Went to a fight and a football practice broke out.

The Bucs and Jaguars practiced for a second straight day in advance of their Thursday night preseason game. But on Tuesday, it got pretty chippy.

First, Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith and Jags defensive end Yannick Ngakoue got into a heated discussion during a pass rush drill. Smith shove Ngakoue, who countered by hitting him in the facemask. Then centers Joe Hawley and Ali Marpet joined in, with Hawley losing his helmet.

"We talked (expletive) to everybody,'' said Bucs defensive end Noah Spence. "We talk to each other. Maybe a little fighting, but it's all love for the game.''

In another team period, former Bucs receiver Arrelious Benn and rookie cornerback Maurice Fleming engaged in an alteration, with Fleming ending up holding Benn's helmet.

At first, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he was unaware of any fights.

"No drills that I was in. We didn't have any,'' Koetter said. "Who won?''

Then Koetter seemed to acknowledge the fights.

"There was talk going on, on both sides,'' Koetter said. "That's part of it. I thought the coaches on both sides, the field I was on, handled it fine. You keep playing. Both teams knew if it kept going on they would get kicked out. I wasn't on those fields.''

Defensive coordinator Mike Smith said such fights would result in penalties during a game.

"There's two sides to every story,'' Smith said. "It's really something we can't allow to happen. We're going to get a 15-yard penalty in a real game, so we've got to make sure we keep our composure. We came in here saying we didn't want to fight.''

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