BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The first fight of Eagles training camp broke out today and it was a doozy.
Under beautiful skies, in cool temperatures and in front of 8,328 fans, Riley Cooper and Ellis Hobbs mixed it up to the delight of practically everyone.
It was wide receiver vs. cornerback, rookie vs. veteran, big guy vs. small, second-team offense vs. first-team defense.
"It was just man-to-man bump-and-run," the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Cooper said. "He was on the line doing his job and I gave him a shove and he didn't like it. So we had a little talk about it."
They did more than just talk.
"I don't know what he's used to," Hobbs said. "I don't know if he knows it or not, but I watched his Florida film. And he's a guy that likes to pull and tug. Against LSU, he pulled a guy and [Tim] Tebow hit him on a 'go' route. So I knew that about him. He likes to put his hand on people and when you got a guy like that, they don't like to be touched. As you see, when he gets touched he gets riled up a little bit. Riley gets riled up. It is what it is. I'd rather see him do that than cower down. He did his job and I did my job and at the end of the day you squash it out on the field. It's over."
After they mixed it up, Hobbs turned and Cooper threw the 5-foot-9, 195-pound corner to the ground. And then ...
"I took his helmet off and thought about doing something," Hobbs said. "I tried to snap mine off to make it fair. But I'm not all about that. I'm about tough football. And I'm about playing football the right way if you're about to take cheap shots [and] wait until I turn around and knock me down. He had been doing that stuff in the previous practice. You guys hadn't been here yet. Just setting the tone. This is the defense. I don't know how everybody else feels, but I speak for myself, I'm not going to just sit here and take crap. We going to play hard, we're going to play hard the right way."
After Hobbs was tossed to the ground, linebacker Stewart Bradley came out of nowhere and knocked Cooper down.
"Ellis is like 110 pounds," Bradley said. "You got to stick up for him."
Hobbs appreciated the support.
"I love that," Hobbs said. "That's the thing -- we're not going to sit here and play dirty ball, but if you want to go low and you want to take it that way, we can go that route."
This is one matchup to follow for the rest of camp.
"It's going to happen," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "It's going to be competitive. I understand that. We got some new people out here trying to prove themselves. With competition comes fighting. Now, listen, I told the players, 'These things do happen, but don't make it a habit. We're not ultimate fighters, we're football players.'"
Ding, ding, ding.