PHILADELPHIA - Eagles cornerback Cary Williams just couldn't take it anymore.
Williams explained after Sunday's practice at Lincoln Financial Field that he got into a fight during the team's joint practice with New England last week because he was tired of hearing the Patriots talk trash about the Eagles.
"I understood what would happen, but there a reason behind what I did," Williams said. "They came into our house talking. They had a lot of jokes and 'tee-hees' and laughs. Dirty plays that were going on.
"I knew we weren't supposed to do anything, but when I see one of our guys get blocked in the back, it's hard not to retaliate. Being a doormat is something I'm not used to."
Williams, who spent the past four seasons with Baltimore, went after Pats rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson on the third play of the Eagles' 11 on 11 scrimmage last Tuesday, grabbing his facemask and yanking on it. Dobson did the same thing to Williams before players and coaches intervened.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly and Patriots counterpart Bill Belichick had warned players beforehand that fighting would not be tolerated. As a result, Williams and Dobson were both benched for the rest of the practice.
Kelly didn't accept Williams' explanation that he was simply trying to send a message that Eagles will not back down when challenged.
"One of the reasons we wanted to participate (in the joint practices) with the Patriots was we knew this wasn't going to turn into a WWE brawl, because that's not what it is," Kelly said Sunday. "It's a game of football and if you do that in a game, you get thrown out.
"We could go get in a street fight, but that's not going to help us. There's a certain way you're supposed to play this game. It's between the whistles. The stuff after the whistles is not what we're looking for."
While with the Ravens, Williams was part of a hard-hitting defense that featured middle linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Terrell Suggs and safety Ed Reed. The Ravens routinely tried to intimidate opponents with their aggressiveness and nasty attitude.
Last season, Williams got into a skirmish with Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson during the Ravens' visit to the Linc.
"I came from a different culture, a different life," Williams said. "We had a certain way of doing things. It definitely would have been a different situation if this had happened in Baltimore. It wouldn't have been a fun practice for the Patriots, I can tell you that."