Players were in helmets and shoulder pads, but there were several incidents during the nearly two-hour practice that had coaches frustrated and players leaving the field to have injuries evaluated.
Early in the practice, starting center John Sullivan left the field limping and went to the medical tent. He later returned with his right ankle taped and resumed practice.
A short time later, Jasper Brinkley plowed into running back Kahlil Bell and knocked him to the grass in a practice setting where tackling to the ground wasn't supposed to happen. Bell got up and started jogging back to the offensive side of the ball, but running backs coach Eric Bieniemy didn't want his offensive players to end up cowering to big hits, screaming that his players are "nobody's punching bag."
Brinkley, a rookie middle linebacker, is quickly gaining a reputation for being a big hitter, but he's getting used to having to hold back during practices with teammates.
"I just think defensively you're used to laying your pads on people. When it's time to take it off a little bit, you don't want to do it mentally, but it's something that you've got to do. You've got to respect each other," he said.
"It comes with an adjustment to the league. We're professionals out there and just trying to take care of each other."
Later in practice came a play that gave many in the jam-packed stands a scare. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson connected with first-round draft pick Percy Harvin on a deep pass, but Harvin had to jump up to make the reception. He got contact from safety Husain Abdullah and went to the ground before getting up holding his right arm.
That sent receivers coach George Stewart on the offensive after the defensive players. "Stay off him," Stewart hollered repeatedly with more colorful language mixed in.
Harvin left the field for the medical tent and eventually returned to the sidelines – but not to practice action – a while later.
Two plays later, an offensive player ran into a defender and someone on the defensive side of the ball yelled back, "So that's OK, huh?"
No doubt, the final practice of training camp was a feisty one.
"That's because it was a little hot today or something. That heat was getting to people and they were getting a little frustrated. I guess everybody was waiting until the last day like it's the last day of school to get their little frustration out," offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie said.
"We pretty much try to protect our players when they're not in full pads, so I think that was the main concern today. Somebody had got hurt the other day, so we don't want nobody to get hurt."
That was Childress' concern when he barked at the defense and gave them an earful about going low on offensive players or tackling them to the ground.
"I understand where Coach is coming from. You don't want anybody to get pushed, have somebody get a hamstring or something," defensive end Jared Allen said. "But it's part of our nature, too. We've got shoulder pads on. We're out there hitting. You've got guys out there fighting as a team. That's all it is, aggressive guys. At the end of the day you watch the tape and they'll be more aggressive. I'd rather have someone tell me to slow down than to speed up. So it is what it is; as long as everybody gets out of it OK. That's football.
"I think we had like one little scuffle today. That was it. You haven't seen any voices raised during training camp, which is rare. Usually there's punches flying, helmets flying. You usually got one cool story. We don't have anything."
That changed on Wednesday.
"Camp has definitely got to everybody," said tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. "I guess we're sick and tired of seeing each other all day, every day. We were a little feisty today and yesterday. If we were practicing tomorrow it would probably be a little bit worse. Our testosterone level is off the chains. That's good for the fans I guess because you guys get to see some good stuff."
WEDNESDAY MORNING PRACTICE NOTES