“It should have never happened”.
“I apologize for what happened”, he said. It was never my intention to hurt anybody.. I shouldve walked away from the situation, he said. But there is not much question that his already-limited stature in the locker room took a hit from the incident, too.
For the Jets, Saturday was all about correcting mistakes (the defense did “a bunch of tackling drills” during morning walk-through, per Revis) and making sure Fitzpatrick jells with the first-team offense.
The Jets have three preseason opportunities remaining to further establish Fitzpatrick’s rapport with his receivers, in addition to all the practice time between now and New York’s opener on September 13 against Cleveland. Vincent asked coaches, general managers and club executives to remind players of the rules, and noted that the prohibition of fighting will be a point of emphasis for officials.
Ryan wouldn’t defend Enemkpali for punching Smith, but he called him a “good teammate” and said he was deserving of a second chance.
Jackson also said he had no qualms with Ryan bringing yet another player to the team who comes with some baggage, á la Richie Incognito, Percy Harvin, and rookie Ronald Darby. “It’s not disappointing. It’s just something you don’t want to do, and we addressed it”, Bowles said of Smith’s football toss. “We’ve gotta worry about the other guys on the team right now, and we’re gonna move forward”.
Whaley, however, cautioned that Enemkpali “knows he’s on a short leash”.
Enemkpali could still face discipline from the NFL for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy. The NFL is now reviewing the incident, and disciplinary action against Enemkpali could follow.
Smith reportedly put his finger in his Enemkpali’s face during the eventual locker room argument before he was “sucker punched”, according to Yahoo Sports.
Running back Fred Jackson is set to welcome Enemkpali and adds he doesn’t owe Bills players an explanation. He’ll be given a shot to compete for a backup job behind outside linebacker Manny Lawson, and also play a role on special teams. That means any team interested in signing Enemkpali, a sixth-round pick last year out of Louisiana Tech, might have to weigh a possible suspension. First, Smith was having an impressive camp, and finally had all the weapons necessary to be successful in his third year. He may be the future of the position for the Jets, but right now he just isn’t ready and needs to be protected. Instead, the New York Post caught him tossing a football around with a friend. The second-year linebacker is thankful for another opportunity with the Buffalo Bills, who claimed him after the Jets’ release.