By Day 5 of training camp, tempers are usually getting a little frayed.
More often than not, with all the clutching and grabbing that goes on, push comes to shove - which leads to an exchange of blows.
There were no blows but there was clearly no love lost when Ed Hervey and Davis Sanchez locked horns during yesterday's early workout at Edmonton Eskimos' training camp.
Hervey went up for a football with Sanchez draped all over the lanky wide receiver. Sanchez succeeded in tipping the ball away but the pair became entangled and tumbled to the ground.
Hervey was slow to get up and was favouring his left knee when he did. Not only was Hervey slow to get up, he was doing a slow burn.
"I still don't like that mother..., he's always pushing off and holding," fumed Hervey, staring directly into the media tent at the north end of the Concordia University College practice field.
Hervey then asked the bewildered scribes: "Should I count to 20?"
A long-simmering feud between the duo boiled over in the 2003 Labour Day game when Hervey took a swing at Sanchez - then a Calgary Stampeder - with his helmet.
Rather than striking Sanchez, Hervey clipped an official. Hervey's actions cost him roughly $9,000 in salary and a whole lot of embarrassment.
Given the history between the two and Hervey's at-times short fuse, his comments would come as no surprise if the pair were in different uniforms. However, Sanchez is now wearing Esks silks.
And Hervey was on hand to give Sanchez a tour of the Green and Gold locker-room and publicly bury the hatchet when Sanchez was introduced to the local media in March.
Informed of Hervey's musings, rookie head coach Danny Maciocia was nonplussed.
"That's good, I hope they keep on going at it," Maciocia said. "That's exactly what we want. We want them to play with an attitude.
"They're both doing (that) and that's all I need to hear. That's pretty good news. I didn't see it but I'm glad you're telling me that."
Sanchez and Hervey went head to head later during the same period. The defender stepped in front of Hervey for a pick but Hervey batted the ball out of Sanchez's hands. The two then high-fived each other.
"Everything has been positive up to now, they're just two competitors that don't want to lose any battle out there," Maciocia observed. "Whether it's a one-on-one or team-oriented drill. They know I don't want them to change as individuals. There's a reason why they're here."
Through the first three days of camp, Sanchez and Hervey found themselves on opposite sides of the field for one-on-one and team drills. That, however, changed Wednesday.
"The last few days I've got to line up against him a few times," said Sanchez, who is known for his aggressive play. "It's been good because one of the better guys to work against. We're both vets and we know when to turn it up and when to key down. I want to go against Ed every time, he's probably the best outside receiver out there."
Although Hervey later retired to the sidelines with an ice pack strapped to his left knee, the play that left him cursing Sanchez may have been reminiscent of the one which left him with a severe leg injury during his stint with the Dallas Cowboys.
According to medical staff, Hervey's knee is fine and he'll be good to go when the squad returns to the practice field this morning.
Hervey, who submitted to anger management classes following the now-infamous helmet-swinging incident, blew past the media following yesterday's back-to-back sessions.
Sanchez did not head for the locker-room.
However, the cornerback was mute when asked specifically about the collision that left Hervey limping. Asked a more general question regarding camp, Sanchez was quick to reply.
"It's going great," he said. "The coaches are taking care of us. We're working hard when we're out there but we're getting lots of rest, too."