Intensity is certainly not something the Buffalo Bills lack. That's a key attribute that drove them to falling just one game shy of appearing Super Bowl LV last season, and it has not waned whatsoever in the last few months off. With OTAs now well underway in Buffalo and mandatory minicamp approaching, practices are ramping up a bit, and so are tempers. Examples of both arrived on Tuesday, when defensive end A.J. Epenesa intercepted Josh Allen and ran it back into the end zone. An impressive play by a pass rusher at the line of scrimmage, but that's not where things ended.
After chasing him down, offensive lineman Jon Feliciano caught up with Epenesa and threw a barrage of words at him, per Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic, followed by Epenesa throwing something else in return: the football. Feliciano then threw something other than words at Epenesa, namely his hands.
The two were eventually separated, and Feliciano spoke on the incident after practice -- scaling down the severity of it and making it clear there will be no carryover or grudges going forward between the two.
"This hasn't been my first scuffle in practice," Feliciano said, via The Pat McAfee Show. "Everyone knows around here we're trying to work. There's no animosity between me and A.J. That crap was done right when we walked off the field.
"Iron sharpens iron and I'm trying to get him better."
His sentiments were echoed by defensive lineman Harrison Phillips.
"Any time you have guys out here that take so much pride in what they're doing ... it gets a little competitive out there," Phillips told media, via The Bills Wire. "That's just things that come with the game but that's what brings people together."
While head coach Sean McDermott could likely do without the skirmishes, he undoubtedly loves the fire that fuels them.
And it's that flame that could see Allen and the Bills take the next step in their contention for Super Bowl LVI, knowing they'll have to get past the Kansas City Chiefs to do so. As they know all too well, that's not an easy task, but they have the talent and competitive juice to make it happen. The only thing left now is to do it, and the sharpening of that iron begins in OTAs and minicamp.