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Tempers flare at Falcons camp


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Tempers flare at Falcons camp

Rookie Douglas takes a swipe at veteran Milloy

By STEVE WYCHE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/28/08

Flowery Branch — For about three seconds, Falcons training camp came to a complete stop.

Those on and around the practice field waited for the next move. The cause of the anticipation was rookie Harry Douglas, all 171 pounds of him, who took a swing at 13-year veteran Lawyer Milloy. Douglas, a wide receiver, got caught up with Milloy on a failed running play and smacked the team's safety and defensive captain in the head.

Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

(ENLARGE)

Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie gives rookie wideout Harry Douglas some instructions. The third-round draft pick from Jonesboro scuffled with safety Lawyer Milloy.

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Even Milloy paused, seemingly wondering if the youngster had actually done it.

"I wanted to see how that was going to go down," cornerback Brent Grimes said.

Added cornerback Chris Houston: "It kind of caught us off guard."

Dustups at football practices happen all the time. A player, even a veteran, coming after Milloy does not.

"I got tremendous respect for Lawyer," Douglas said. "He's the captain of our defense, him and Keith Brooking. I was blocking on the play, and we just got tangled up. I've got much respect for him."

Milloy, known as a punishing hitter, did not swing back — yet. He has declined several interview requests since the start of training camp and did so again Monday.

"[Douglas] looked around and saw all eyes were on him, and then he realized who he did it to," Houston said. "I know he realizes it now. Lawyer will get him back. He had to step up because he got slammed, but when he realized who he did it to, he kind of woke up.

"He's going to have it in the back of his head while we're in training camp."

Added coach Mike Smith: "Harry's a confident young man; there's no doubt about that. You like to see that in a rookie. At this time of the year tempers get a little bit short. It was all in fun, and that was fun to watch. I don't know if it was the best thing to do to a guy who's been in the league for a long time."

If Douglas was intimidated, he certainly didn't show it.

Shortly after the first scrap in the team's opening practice in full pads, the third-round draft pick made a difficult catch on a deep ball thrown by quarterback Chris Redman between safeties Eric Brock and Daren Stone.

It was just one of many plays Douglas, a Jonesboro native from the University of Louisville, has made since being selected. Douglas is competing to be the No. 3 wideout, where his size, evasiveness and good hands could be an advantage from the slot.

"I think I'm coming along well," Douglas said. "I've got to be patient and be humble and learn from others around me on offense, defense and the coaches. I have to try and take bits and pieces from everybody and learn."

Though his play has earned him some measure of respect, Douglas' bold move of mixing it up with Milloy on Monday scored points with coaches, teammates and the team's front office.

"He's pound for pound the toughest guy on the team," running back Michael Turner said. "He's about 165 pounds, but for him to stand up to Lawyer Milloy, with all his credentials, shows a lot of toughness by Harry."

Offensive line coach Paul Boudreau said he got a little excited when he saw tempers flare — until he saw who was involved.

"We had a fight out there, but unfortunately it was a wide receiver starting it," said Boudreau, who would have rather seen someone from his unit involved in the skirmish.

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Added coach Mike Smith: "Harry's a confident young man; there's no doubt about that. You like to see that in a rookie. At this time of the year tempers get a little bit short. It was all in fun, and that was fun to watch. I don't know if it was the best thing to do to a guy who's been in the league for a long time
Offensive line coach Paul Boudreau said he got a little excited when he saw tempers flare — until he saw who was involved.

"We had a fight out there, but unfortunately it was a wide receiver starting it," said Boudreau, who would have rather seen someone from his unit involved in the skirmish.

I think our coachs like to see some fire in their guys from these statements.

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for some reason i like this. we have been told that everyone will compete for their spot....and even though douglas got a freebie, it's nice to see.

i still laugh at the fact that lawyer didnt initially respond because he wasnt sure of what just happened lol.

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for some reason i like this. we have been told that everyone will compete for their spot....and even though douglas got a freebie, it's nice to see.

i still laugh at the fact that lawyer didnt initially respond because he wasnt sure of what just happened lol.

your sig brings back fond memories..

:(

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