The Brady punch

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Blame it on the rain.

Or wear and tear of two-a-day practices.

Something was bound to give during the eighth training camp practice in five days for the Edmonton Eskimos.

In the end, what snapped was the patience of both Trevor Gaylor and Donald Brady.

"It was a lovers' quarrel," said Brady.

Halfway through yesterday's rain-shortened session at Clarke Park tempers boiled over and fists started swinging. Brady appeared to have shoved Gaylor in the back on a passing drill and Gaylor took instant exception. The Esks' wideout marched 10 yards right into Brady's grill and the trash-talking spewed. A couple of pushes in the chest and it was on. Brady did most of the damage after taking an early shot as he popped Gaylor in the stomach and then grabbed him by the facemask and wrestled him to the turf.

"I play physical and a lot of guys don't like that, but they understand what I do," said Brady. "It's part of the game, it's part of camp. But that's my boy. No hatred or nothing like that. Regardless what happened during that brief time, we're still going to be boys when we get into the locker-room. I've still got his back."

PEACEFUL GESTURE

The six-year vet made a peaceful gesture by trying to talk over the altercation a few minutes later, but Gaylor wasn't interested in making up.

"Certain tactics he uses, sometimes I feel like he doesn't realize the refs aren't out here," offered a simmered-down Gaylor.

"He's out there getting better and I'm trying to get better and today two men just clashed. Donny is one of the best in the league and I look forward to seeing him every day because I don't think anybody's as good. Definitely no disrespect to Donny. He helped me get my first Grey Cup win and I'll never forget that."

Although head coach Danny Maciocia doesn't want full contact during drills and scrimmages, he seemed quite content at discovering Brady and Gaylor had come to blows. That played right into the hand he dealt his players at the beginning of training camp - compete because no one's job is safe.

"I think it's healthy when one doesn't want to take a back seat to the other," said Maciocia, who's seen his share of scraps over the course of 10 training camps.

"It's really an image of their coach because I'm not one who's going to lay back and just watch us getting walked over. We promote not violence but competition, and when there's competition there's going to be a couple of issues during a training camp.

"It's a 30-second thing and then you go back in the locker-room and everybody's hugging one another."

The "lovers' quarrel" didn't end with a visible makeup session, but both combatants chalked up the scuffle to the grind of training camp.

'GOING HARD'

"It's the constant waking up, the constant meetings, the constant going hard because it's so competitive, especially with a team like this," explained Gaylor.

"There isn't an easy rep out there. You get tired mentally as well as physically. You could take some backups out here and go beat some teams. I just feel we're that good this year.

"You just want to make sure you're not the one that gets the axe because of someone else playing well while you were slacking or feeling comfortable."

And the routine is far from over.

"It's already starting to be monotonous," said Brady. "That happened the second day. Sometimes you don't want to be out there but you've still got to push through it."


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