Oakland Raiders wide receiver Thomas Mayo at Raiders OTA's 2012 (photo by Levi Damien)
We knew that once the pads went on in camp, things would start to heat up. The question was not if but when the first skirmish would happen and who it would be getting into it. Well, those questions were answered in the very first team period Wednesday as players were itching to hit after an offseason of no contact. And the answer who was Tyvon Branch and rookie Thomas Mayo.
It is unclear exactly how it started but Branch got the best of the matchup. With Branch on top of Mayo while surrounded by the other 20 players on offense and defense. They rolled around on the turf for a few seconds until Branch's defensive teammates pulled him off the rookie receiver.
As is often the case, the one who instigates the fight is not the one to make the first move. Mayo is a fierce competitor and is fighting (figuratively) to make this squad as an undrafted receiver in a deep group of receivers. So he has to scrap (figuratively) for everything he gets.
Branch downplayed the whole incident, and insisted there was no intentions of sending any messages.
"It was nothing like that," said Branch. "It was out of character for me. It's just camp. The first day of pads, everybody's amped up.
" Just a little camp squabble. Nothing major. We just got into it."
It really isn't anything major. It is a little surprising, as Branch said, that it was him to get in the squabble. It's usually someone like Lamarr Houston or Mike Mitchell who have been known to get into it. Both players get pretty worked up in practice and tempers rise. I expect we will see a match or two involving one or both of them. But for now the winner of the first scrap goes to Branch and Mayo.