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Cleveland Browns

Rookie Francies center of Friday lockerroom skirmish

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 25, 2009

Tempers ran a little too high after an altercation spilled into the lockeroom moments after Friday's afternoon practice ended.

Just as the lockeroom opened, a soaking-wet Coye Francies came bursting in the room with a orange water bucket full of ice, looking for his secondary teammates after having been dunked in water.

After Francies threw ice towards defensive back Brandon McDonald while he began to change in front of his locker, he headed for the locker of another defensive back, Abe Elam.

"You want a piece of me?" Elam yelled as Francies (who'd put the bucket down) charged Elam in his corner locker and swung at him. Elam successfully blocked the blow and Francies was quickly restrained as tempers began to escalate.

"It wasn't nothing like (a rookie indoctrination), it was just guys having fun," McDonald said. "It's all in good fun...He got a little aggressive, it's no big deal."

While McDonald fetched a broom and dust pan and cleaned up the gobs of ice cubes around his locker area, veteran 350-pound nose tackle Shaun Rogers played the role of enforcer and grabbed Francies by the scruff of the neck and ushered him outside.

"Welcome to the Browns lockerroom!" yelled wide receiver Braylon Edwards from the other corner of the lockrroom.

Later, when Francies came back in the room still fuming, he was led into a side equipment room near his locker in an attempt to give him more time to cool off.

When Francies returned to his tall to dress, linebackers D'Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton and defensive back Brodney Pool went over and sat down next to Francies to talk with him and try to calm him down.

Afterwards, yet still obviously irritated, Francies had little to say of the situation.

"We were just playing around," he said in a low voice. "It was all fun and games."

Afterwards, Francies went to talk to head coach Eric Mangini, whose main concern was if there were anything malicious "or something deeper here."

Mangini talked to a couple other guys involved, "some veteran leaders, guys in the know" to try to get the full story.

"Coye realized he shouldn't have reacted the way he reacted," Mangini said. "He wanted to get them back, (but) he should have put it in the right context. He's a rookie, he's young, I don't think it's anything deeper than that. It didn't sound like anything from all parties involved."

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