Zaven Collins was asked about the fighting at the first padded practice of Cards Camp on Tuesday, and he grinned.
"It's not fighting. It's just two guys ... you've got pads on from here up," Collins said. "What are you gonna do? Most of the time it's just guys grabbing on to each other, 'I'll beat you up.' 'No, I'll beat you up.' It's a waste of time. That's why guys get angry about it, because you don't get much accomplished."
The pads come on, guys get physical, and this happens. The first dust-up came when cornerback Marco Wilson made a nice interception cutting in front of wideout DeAndre Hopkins. The defense celebrated, linebacker Isaiah Simmons had something to say to Hop, and Hop threw the ball at him -- and all of a sudden, they had to be separated. Later, guard Will Hernandez gave a shove to J.J. Watt after the play was over for the two of them, and Watt took exception, bouncing up to go hit Hernandez (and while Watt is a powerful large man, Hernandez, ready for it, barely moved. He's a strong man). The two tangled until they were broken up.
It was all good until the final period, a two-minute drill. Wide receiver Greg Dortch got into it with a DB over hand fighting (didn't see who), but soon it was a mass of people, with Hop and Simmons apparently revisiting their earlier issues. Coach Kliff Kingsbury ended things then.
"I'm not a fan," Kingsbury said. "At times it's hard to avoid, but I don't like wasting the time or the reps. Sometimes you have to call off practice and then the young guys at the end, they don't get their two-minute reps. We've just got to be more mature and handle the competition."
Certainly, judging by reports from across the league as most teams went to pads Tuesday, the Cardinals weren't the only ones affected. Kingsbury wasn't happy, but judging by how Collins talked about it, the message was received.
"We've got to cut that out," Collins said. "We lost a lot of reps at the end there. They said at the end of practice, guys are trying to make the team, guys are trying to put film up, and we're losing reps."
-- Kingsbury said offensive lineman Justin Murray will be out two-to-three weeks with an ankle injury. That's a big reason the Cardinals signed guard Rashaad Coward.
-- Another reason for the signing: center Rodney Hudson didn't practice again Tuesday. Kingsbury said the team will be "smart" with Hudson in camp, but the veteran is definitely being eased in, with only a couple of appearances at practice so far. "We'll pick our spots with him," Kingsbury said. "The main objective is to get him to Week 1 healthy and feeling good."
-- It felt like the defense had the upper hand most of Tuesday practice, which isn't that shocking on the first day pads are allowed and the physical part of work increases. But the very first play of 11-on-11 featured a nice pass by Colt McCoy to Hopkins, who made the leaping grab near the sideline over Marco Wilson (who had pretty good coverage and later made the pick.)
-- Third-string cornerback Antonio Hamilton has made some plays early in camp. I thought Hamilton was pretty decent when he was in the defensive lineup last year.
-- Kingsbury was asked if he had more patience with young players given that he coached in college. Maybe, Kingsbury said. Probably.
"I saw enough kids when I was in college (that) freshman year, you want to throw them in jail, and then two years later they are starting," Kingsbury acknowledged.
-- Hollywood Brown was activated off the NFI list, but he didn't practice. Kingsbury said the Cardinals wanted to start Brown with the pre-practice walkthroughs, hopefully getting him to individual drills by the end of the week.