Yesterday the rush of adrenaline, the pressure of training camp, and the level of contact rolled to a head when Jake Long pancaked fellow rookie Phillip Merling. Merling, who just saw Long get the better of him a play or so earlier, took offense and came up swinging. Round 1 goes to Long.
Head coach Tony Sparano, well he loves himself a good fight. He just watched and if not smiling on the outside was on the inside.
”I kind of liked it a little bit,” said coach Tony Sparano, who the day before was asked what kind of player will make this team and he said “A tough guy. Tough guys will make this team”.
The kicker in all of this is that Merling apparently believes that Long is one of his better friends. Saying as much when asked about the incident later. The two had no problems leaving it on the field. Long said that it was the “heat of the battle”. When told that coach Sparano like it, Long said, “Maybe next time I will swing back”.
One thing is for certain. This is not the same training camp thats been around Miami for the last few years.