Giants coach Johnson apologizes for role in brawl

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – New York Giants offensive line coach Bobby Johnson apologized for shoving linebacker Cam Brown during a fight at Monday’s practice.

A heated Johnson went at Brown moments after the young linebacker angrily pulled starting center Jon Feliciano from a melee. Instead of things settling down, Feliciano responded by throwing a haymaker in Brown’s direction.

Brown followed with punches of his own. Both players were wearing their helmets at the time, but fortunately neither was injured.

“The incident [Monday], I take full responsibility,” Johnson said Tuesday during a press conference scheduled before the incident. “I am remorseful. It can’t happen. It will not happen again.

“I have apologized to the relevant people. Especially Cam. I have to be better than that. This is not what we are looking for. This is a regrettable incident that cannot and will not happen again.”

Coach Brian Daboll called the entire team together Monday after the games and told his team that type of behavior was unacceptable. That’s what losing teams do.

Dabøll later spoke with all the parties involved. It is not believed that disciplinary action has been taken. “I’ve addressed it and I’ve made it crystal clear,” Johnson said. “So that’s been dealt with and we’re moving on from that.”

The Giants held a light practice in the intense heat Tuesday without incident. They play their preseason opener Thursday night against the New England Patriots.

The scrimmage on Monday started not long after running back Saquon Barkley lowered his shoulder and sent cornerback Aaron Robinson flying during a “tout” period. That seemed to anger the defense. Linebacker Tae Crowder had some extra aggression the next two plays.

Feliciano took offense to Crowder’s actions. The two went after each other three plays after Barkley’s hard run, which sparked the brawl.

“I really want to say for everybody that was involved in that, that’s not what we’re looking to do. It’s been fixed,” Daboll said. “I talked to the team. I talked to the coaches. They know the expectations. We’re not going to lose our cool like that.”

Afterward, Giants players downplayed the incident. Daboll said he saw some of those involved in the locker room playing ping pong and eating together.

He didn’t necessarily have a problem with Barkley’s physical running. However, he took exception to his team’s overall response.

“There are learning experiences from everything that happens on a football field,” Daboll said. “It was definitely one of those for everybody. I brought them in, I let them know what the expectations were, what the standards are.

“I like the competition. I like the physicality. But you have to do things the right way, whether it’s on the practice field or whether it’s in the meeting room or whether it’s on game day. I think the whole are related to each other. So we pride ourselves on doing it the right way.”

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