Mark Sanchez downplays shouting match with Darren Sproles
Mark Sanchez did his best to downplay an on-field confrontation with Darren Sproles following the Philadelphia Eagles’ 45-17 thumping by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sanchez and Sproles appeared to have a communication breakdown on an attempted screen pass that ultimately was intercepted by Bucs linebacker Lavonte David and returned 20 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Sproles appeared to cut short his route and stopped running while Sanchez threw the ball where he expected the running back to be.
The two exchanged words afterwards during a pretty heated confrontation. Sanchez, who went 26-for-41 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in the start replacing the injured Sam Bradford, explained after the game that these kind of things happen, especially during such an ugly loss, calling his teammate “a total pro and a great player.”
“Look, we’re in the middle of a game where we are getting beat pretty good and I’m pissed that he stopped and he’s mad that I didn’t throw it right to him,” Sanchez said, via Pro Football Talk. “And there’s nothing wrong with that. And so the mature part is that we talked about it again. If we would have left it there and just said, ‘You screwed up’ . . . ‘No, you screwed up’ then move on, well, then now we don’t get to the bottom of it.”
Sproles, meanwhile, didn’t say much about the spat, simply stating, “We’re okay.” He did complain last week about the lack of touches on offense, so his frustration perhaps shouldn’t be all that surprising.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly similarly downplayed what transpired, saying after the game that “those guys were yelling at each other a little bit and we stopped it.”
The bad blood between the teammates appeared to be precipitated by an incident earlier in the game when Sanchez overshot Sproles on a pass. The running back glared at the quarterback before angrily unsnapping his chin strap.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 4-6 but given the team resides in the mediocre at best NFC East, all is not yet lost.