FOXBORO -- Training camp dustups are inevitable. For the 2013 Patriots, it took all of five practices for the shoving to start.
Tuesday evening's practice session was just about over, New England was working through its last bit of 11-on-11, when cornerback Kyle Arrington laid a hit across running back Stevan Ridley's chest. Ridley wasn't happy with the contact and pushed Arrington, who was only too happy to push back.
Teammates broke the scuffle up quickly enough. For Arrington, that's where it ended.
"At this point of camp we get tired of going up against the same guys every day. Tempers flare, but it stays on the field," he said with an easy smile. "It's all love, you know.
"Whatever happens on the field stays on the field. It's an emotional game, emotional people. It's all love though at the end of the day."
Ridley might have a different opinion. The 24-year old was still jawing, though with veteran corner Aqib Talib, as the players headed toward the locker room.
He zipped up tight when reporters asked about the incident.
"That's camp, man," Ridley said. "That's all I'm going to say about it. We're competitive out here and we're working hard every day. The days are getting long and that's part of it."
The days ahead won't be any shorter, but the Patriots won't have to push each other around for much longer. New England heads to Philadelphia in one week for joint practices with the Eagles. The two teams will kick off for a preseason game the following Friday, Aug. 9.
"We're definitely eager to see where we are as a team the first time going up against somebody else," Arrington said.
That, Ridley might agree with.