SAINT JOSEPH, Mo. — This year’s training camp has been fiery for Travis Kelce.
The Kansas City Chiefs star tight end has had a few shoving matches with teammates over the first two days of full padded training camp practices.
On Friday, Kelce threw punches at defensive back Dicaprio Bootle when Bootle ran into Kelce after the play attempting to strip the ball.
The same kind of incident happened on Saturday when Kelce caught a touchdown during a red zone period and linebacker Jack Cochrane attempted to strip the ball. Kelce punched him after the play as well.
After practice, Kelce tweeted that he must do better as one of the faces of the Chiefs.
“Gotta be a better teammate,” Kelce said. “Gotta be a better leader… Plain and simple.”
Defensive players are taught to strip the ball in practice after catches to practice creating turnovers, and offensive players are taught to practice protecting the football. Offensive players are taught to run to the end zone throughout practice to practice finishing runs and getting to the end zone.
While this situation is mostly a symptom of training camp and players readjusting to football, head coach Andy Reid and safety Bryan Cook said on Friday that Kelce’s situation with Bootle was just competitive juices overflowing for both players.
“I like the way they did it, how they got after it,” Reid said. “They’re gonna jaw a little bit just as long as there’s no fights.”
“He’s a high level competitor,” Cook said about Kelce.
“When it comes to the point where we’re wasting time chatting too much and not getting the reps, that’s the problem out there. But he’s a vet, he’s going to be a potential Hall of Famer. So it was kind of nice for me to get in the scuffle a little bit.”
While the scuffles were apparently worthy enough for Kelce to acknowledge it publicly, some scuffles amongst teammates can bring players closer together and inspire each other on the field.
“That stuff does encourage us to be a little more passionate about it, because it is a blessing to be out there,” Cook said.
A little practice scrap among teammates just means football season is here.