Fights Break Out for First Time in Training Camp

Gino Gradkowski got into a couple of altercations with teammate Terrence Cody on Saturday. The two are actually good friends in the locker room. - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Gino Gradkowski and Terrence Cody acted like they wanted to kill each other for a brief moment. Turns out, they're close friends. Tempers are tested during training camp.

Training camp can be a testy time.

It's hot, players are practicing for almost three hours in one sitting and guys are trying to prove themselves to one another, as well as the coaching staff.

On Saturday, with the Ravens in pads for the first time this preseason, tempers flared on a couple of occasions.

First, inside linebacker Albert McClellan and center A.Q. Shipley got tangled up for a moment and exchanged a couple of blows with each other. The altercation could have carried on longer, but running game coordinator Juan Castillo stepped in, along with a few teammates, to break up the fight so the Ravens could continue practice.

"It's what you see when the pads come on," McClellan said. "Some people like to go a little over the top. Some people want to prove they're a tough guy. So you have to put some people in their place and really see where you're at on the totem pole when it comes to toughness and your physical ability. A lot of people want to prove themselves."

McClellan and Shipley didn't hold any grudges immediately after. It was back to work after they were separated.

"For us, we're brothers. Family fight," McClellan said. "We'll fight with one another but we're also making each other stronger and making each other more physical."

Shortly after the McClellan-Shipley tussle, center Gino Gradkowski and nose tackle Terrence Cody began scrapping. The first fight between them was slightly more violent than McClellan and Shipley's but was separated quickly. However, the two lined up against each other on the next play, which caused more fireworks.

Gradkowski won the blocking battle on the play. But Cody wouldn't let go of the center's facemask after the ball was thrown. Cody then slapped Gradkowski across the head which caused Gradkowski to retaliate. The two exchanged a few body blows before Gradkowski wrestled Cody to the ground. After both fell to the turf, Cody maneuvered his way on top of Gradkowski and threw the final punches.

Teammates and coaches ran in to pull both players apart from each other. Both sat out the next couple of plays.

"Me and Terrence get into it," Gradkowski said. "We're actually good friends in the locker room. It was one of those things during camp where you go against each other so many times, it's bound to flare up. That's going to happen all throughout camp."

Gradkowski sees nothing wrong with a fight every now and then, as long as the anger doesn't carry over off the field.

"I think it's good as long as nobody gets hurt," Gradkowski said. "When you're competing out there, tempers are going to flare with the type of athletes and competitors we are."

Follow me on twitter: @JasonHButt

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