Within five minutes into the Chargers-Rams joint practice at UC Irvine, it was clear the Fight for L.A. was on.
The two-and-a-half hour practice was chock-full of intensity, not to mention a few skirmishes.
“It was chippy,” mentioned Dontrelle Inman, who was involved in one of the clashes. “This is day six. You’re tired and the (first preseason) game is coming up so you’re tired of hitting each other, so you want to hit someone else.”
“You have to lock in,” added Melvin Gordon. “You have to lock in because they’re coming. Your intensity has to reach theirs and overcome it. Lock in more and pay attention to the details.”
Post-practice, Head Coach Anthony Lynn analyzed what the day meant for his team. While he said he wasn’t pleased with the fighting, he encouraged the intensity. Albeit, it had to be stopped before it got too out of hand.
"At some point, you have to make an example out of somebody,” Lynn said. “We weren't going to fight all day."
The intensity kicked off at the beginning of practice with Inman and Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson getting after each other. From there, two other skirmishes broke out between the two teams.
“It was two competitors,” Inman explained. “Two competitors from two different teams who both want to win. It’s the nature of us; it’s an aggressive nature. He thinks he shouldn’t take anything from me and I think the same way.”
Gordon wasn’t a part of any of the skirmishes, but he did witness them from afar. What was most important for him was making sure he knew he had the backs of his teammates.
“You have to be there for one another,” Gordon said. “(If) your brother is going to war, you have to be there to back him up. You can’t be afraid; you can’t be scared. Sometimes you have to go in there even if it isn’t your character.”
Although it’s nice to see amped up passion, the Bolts know the best thing to do is channel that aggression and put it towards their play to hopefully get a win when the clock hits zero.
“We don’t want to be out here fighting,” Gordon added. “We have to play clean and smart football, so on game day we have to be a lot smart and minimize what we did today. You want that grit and fire though. You just have to (know) how to control it.”