Practice blowup shows Arizona's frustration

Updated: October 24, 2003, 10:08 AM ET
ESPN

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Offensive tackle L.J. Shelton had a swollen right eye and defensive tackle Russell Davis had a scratch on his face after the two exchanged blows and had to be separated by several teammates in practice Thursday.

The third straight day of triple-digit temperatures made conditions perfect for temper flareups.

"There's a lot of frustration built up on this football team, and there's a lot of energy on this football team," coach Dave McGinnis said. "It's got to be channeled in the right direction. Believe me, this is not a soft football team. That's kind of what I expected today with the way things have been going."

The skirmish involved two of the team's bigger players. Shelton is 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds and Davis 6-4, 314 pounds. McGinnis seemed to like that his players had some fight in them, even if it was against one another. Earlier, there was a lesser confrontation between offensive guard Frank Garcia and defensive end Fred Wakefield.

"This is a nasty game. These are nasty times. This isn't a soft game for soft people. It's an emotional time for emotional people," McGinnis said. "We'll get that energy channeled in the right direction, so that doesn't upset me too much."

Shelton, normally one of the most friendly and accommodating players on the team, brushed reporters away after the workout.

"I'm not talking today, if you guys don't mind," Shelton said.

Davis had only a brief comment.

"Just football, man," he said. "It's a contact sport."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index