Tempers have flared during the Dolphins practice this morning.
On an otherwise routine deep pass down the right sideline, cornerback Will Allen and receiver David Kircus got into a scuffle after the play was over. Actually, it was more like after the pass fell incomplete. Allen began punching on Kircus who fell to the turf and basically went into a fetal position as Allen stood over him.
It is impossible to say what started the fight but one source says it is because Kircus put a hard block on Allen a play or two before and the cornerback didn't appreciate the treatment. There was apparently also a verbal exchange of pleasantries.
Anyway, Allen's distribution of punches lasted for about five seconds then he apparently realized Kircus wasn't fighting back. (Or was it Allen was confused by Kircus trying to fight back by hitting Allen's fist with his facemask?) Anyway, Allen stopped, and as he was walking back to the line of scrimmage tight end Sean Ryan tackled Allen and started whooping on him.
And then it got crazy.
Defensive players came to Allen's defense. Offensive players then joined in. And the melee that ensued lasted about 10 seconds as coaches frantically blew their whistles and carefully tried to re-establish order.
Within, I would estimate, 45 seconds, the order was indeed restored and the Dolphins ran another play. Coach Tony Sparano was seen remonstrating with Allen afterward.
In all my years of covering football, I've seen a lot of practice fights but normally it is an offensive lineman versus a defensive lineman. I have never seen a cornerback attack a receiver and Sparano thought it ridiculous as well.
"A receiver and a defensive back, I don't think that's much of a fight," the coach said moments ago. "It's not smart ... It's not something I condone at all ... It's not what you want."
As for actual football matters, the profootballtalk.com rumors about John Beck getting cut today are NOT TRUE. If you don't believe the fact Sparano shot down the rumor, believe my eyes:
Beck participated in drills and is readying for the next practice in a couple of hours.
Chad Pennington is expected to start and play up to a half in that game -- depending on the number of possessions Miami gets. Interestingly, Beck and Josh McCown actually took some scout team snaps today which isn't a big reward but is a lot more work they got in practices the past couple of days.
During the first and second-team team drills, Pennington was 5 of 7 with 1 interception and zero touchdowns, while Henne 4 of 7 with neither an interception nor a touchdown.
Finally, Joey Porter is expected to play Saturday while Vonnie Holliday (hamstring) and Michael Lehan (high ankle sprain) are not.