Given that OTAs are voluntary workouts, there usually isn’t enough intensity or passion to bring about physical altercations, though, this is exactly what transpired this afternoon during the Chicago Bears‘ OTA. A brief skirmish broke out as the first-string offense was running plays against the first-string defense. The small dust up occurred when RT Jordan Mills and DE Lamarr Houston had a heated exchange after coming together on a few successive plays. The scuffle escalated enough to involve fellow teammates Jared Allen and TE Martellus Bennett as they attempted to break it up. The incident culminated in Bennett throwing his helmet down in frustration.
All players involved immediately played down the incident, brushing it off as just something that happens when you play a rough and competitive sport. While there probably is not much here to be concerned about, this small scuffle can be construed as a good thing for this Bears team. They are going hard on plays during OTAs because they are hungry and want revenge for how their season ended in 2013.
It is worth noting that the two players that sparked the event, Mills and Houston, are still proving themselves to their teammates. Mills is heading into his second NFL season after a very successful rookie campaign. He is definitely not out of the spotlight and needs to prove to his fellow line mates that he is up to the challenge of succeeding in the NFL for more than one season. Houston, on the other hand, is making his debut with the Bears after several successful season with the Oakland Raiders. Playing opposite one of the most prolific pass rushers in the past 10 years in Allen, Houston is most likely feeling some pressure to perform and prove that he can live up to his new big contract.
These guys clearly have some passion for the game and a will to prove themselves, which is something this Bears team was missing last season on defense. If they can keep their emotions in check with each other, this competitive atmosphere can be very helpful to a team that should have an opportunity to make a run in the playoffs this year.
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