We normally don’t see scuffles at Organized Team Activities because OTAs are voluntary, shorter practices, and there is very little physical contact. The Buffalo Bills found a way on Tuesday when defensive end A.J. Epenesa and guard Jon Feliciano came to blows on the practice field.
“A.J. Epenesa intercepted Josh Allen at the line of scrimmage, and returned the ball for a TD,” wrote Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News. “Jon Feliciano chased him down and the two exchanged words before Epenesa fired the ball at Feliciano, who then tossed a punch and a melee ensued.”
The incident took place during the unfilmed portion at the end of practice where the media are instructed to put away cameras.
“It was real. I’m guessing Feliciano wasn’t thrilled that Epenesa made the play while probably knowing what type of play/throw was coming. Feliciano took off his helmet, left the field and didn’t return,” wrote Matt Parrino of NYUP.com.
Immediately after practice, Feliciano was scheduled to do a live radio hit on Pat McAfee’s show, and boy did it deliver. Note: Language is NSFW.
“This hasn’t been my first scuffle in practice” @MongoFeliciano says there’s “no animosity” between him & AJ Epenesa
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) June 8, 2021
“This hasn’t been my first scuffle in practice,” Feliciano said. “Everyone knows around there, we’re trying to work. There’s no animosity between me and AJ. That crap was done right when we walked off the field. Iron sharpens iron and I’m trying to get him better.”
Feliciano was cracking jokes about the fight with McAfee afterward, saying “there is no conditioning you can do for that” and calling it “the worst decision after because you’re exhausted.”
Epenesa’s linemate Harrison Phillips spoke with the collected media after practice and downplayed it, as well, saying it was “just football.”
“Tempers flare and there’s sometimes a boiling point,” said Phillips. “This guy’s going a little harder than this guy and that’s just the things that come with the game.”
We’re pretty confident head coach Sean McDermott isn’t going to let this become routine, but it can’t be bad that the team is playing with an edge. Feliciano is known for his toughness and nasty streak, while Epenesa’s rookie season lacked that finishing attitude.