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Photo Credit: Who owns the group pic celebration?

Jahleel Addae swears he was only pretending to pick a fight.

Look at the end result: Handshakes, hugs, and helmet taps with the visiting Saints. No one squared up. No one pushed or shoved or kicked or bit. The whole training camp confrontation was staged; Addae later told reporters the faux-brawl was "all love."

But in Los Angeles, the best actors bring a little truth to their roles. Addae brought some to his.

Did he and his fellow Chargers DBs -- codename: "The Jack Boys" -- ever intended on going full MMA undercard on their training camp adversaries? Of course not. Did the Saints defense try to pose for pictures after Addae and Co. broke it up in jest? They did not.

Consider that a message received. Don't steal what "The Jack Boys" believe is theirs.

"Oh, we started (that celebration)," Addae told reporters. "You saw we did it first. We know a lot of their DBs, their DBs know us, and obviously we've heard that they said they started it first, and we said we started it first. It was all fun and games."

"We started this picture stuff"

This is not all fun and games anymore. Everyone thinks it was their idea.

The Saints claim they started it last season. The Chargers say they were doing it two training camps ago. So it goes in every stadium, in every locker room, in every defensive meeting room. Thirty-two teams think they're the rightful owners of the NFL's only defensive celebration.

In March 2017, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced new and relaxed rules on the topic, citing player creativity and individuality. Gone were the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct flags. Players could now pretend to bowl each other down, choreograph dances, and make snow angels. They did all that and more -- but only on the offensive side of the ball.

On the defensive side, one celebration rules the rest. There is very little creativity or individuality; nearly every defense celebrates together, as a unit, like the Giants did it in Week 11 after an interception by LB Alec Ogletree:

And again when DB Michael Thomas picked an errant Ryan Fitzpatrick throw off.

That same day, Texans rookie DB Justin Reid returned an interception 101 yards to the house. Guess who met him there for a photo? All of his defensive teammates.

So it's no surprise, then, that a joint training camp practice between two teams last summer turned into a pose-off like a scene out of Zoolander. Both defenses honestly believe the other is copying them.

"Nah, man. We do that," Saints CB Marshon Lattimoretold the The Times-Picayune. "We started this picture stuff, so we had to show them."

"Other teams are stealing our sauce"

Vince Williams had redemption in mind for Thursday Night Football.

The Steelers defense needed a little after their first try in 2017. Fellow LB Ryan Shazier couldn't uncouple from a tight end. Defensive backs Mike Hilton and Sean Davis briefly forgot about the whole plan; after Shazier's athletic pick, they both trotted back to the sidelines.

Things worsened when group photo time came. See if you can spot the problem.

Not quite the ideal angle for a new profile pic. So Williams was thrilled when Hilton intercepted a throw four days later and they swarmed photographers -- facing front this time. And he was eager to post that photo when he got back to the locker room after the win.

That's when he found out how serious a fun group photo could really be. CelebrateGate was on.

"I don't care, really," Williams said. "It's really a shout out to us. Hell, they say imitation is the biggest form of flattery."

The celebration is not a big deal and the biggest deal at the same time. In a league centered around gaudy offensive stats, a full-squad defensive celebration takes on deeper meaning. It tells the opposition what it's up against, that these 11 guys don't budge.

Plus, the group photo looks awesome on Instagram. This cannot be denied.

Part of Marshon Lattimore understands that. The league's reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year once played at Ohio State, after all. He suited up alongside Joey Bosa, Eli Apple, Gareon Conley, Malik Hooker -- all first-round selections out of Colombus, Ohio. Imagine the likes that group photo could've received.

Buckeye defenders have that brotherhood -- but the NFL is different. Lattimore boarded a nine-hour team flight to London last season feeling like a rookie still trying to find his way. He got off the plane as a member of the "Boonk Gang" -- a nickname for the Saints defense spawned after watching this viral video over and over. He belonged.

Lattimore said The Gang first posed for group photos during pregame warmups at Wembley Stadium. By the time the Saints returned stateside, that celebration felt like a 12th teammate.

"We needed to turn our swag up on defense, so we came up with that," Lattimore said. "From that point, we ran with it."

And when Lattimore says "we," he doesn't mean the NFL's community of defenders. He means Saints only. Copy that, like he believes the Steelers, Chargers, and other teams have, and you're insulting its very origins.

"It's been our go-to and everybody knows it," Lattimore said. "Other teams are stealing our sauce, but they know we invented it."

"And plus, we love stunting for Instagram."

Stand still. Stay in one place. Don't move.

These were foreign concepts to sports photographers before the celebration came along. The job came with knee pads pre-fastened, bruises from the sideline television cart, dropped memory cards crunched on turf by cleats. Lighting and angles are judged constantly for the next move down the sidelines.

Now, Chargers team photographer Mike Nowak carries a longer-range lens with him at all times, just in case. Butch Dill, a veteran from the Associated Press, brings a coworker to work each game so each one can wait in either end zone. Both men said they've noticed more cameras camped out, waiting for that one picture.

They're not alone. Chargers LB Melvin Ingram notices them too -- and he's here to help.

"We use that celebration a lot," said Ingram. "We try to make the camera guys' job easy. Give them the best pictures of the big plays. It's a party out there when we're balling, so if we're balling and having fun, let's create memories. And plus, we love stunting for Instagram."

What better setting than StubHub Center to do so? Weather in Los Angeles is never an issue. The sun provides ideal light. And at any given moment, Ingram and Co. could force the turnover that leads to the celebration that Ingram considers an L.A. native.

"Last year during camp, we just thought stunting on our offense and making the turnovers and things like that would kind of bring that juice to our defense," CB Desmond Kingtold the The Times-Picayune. "So we just carried it on through the season, and I feel like that's just going to be a ritual."

Without fail, the Chargers swarm each other after a turnover. After his end zone interception back in Week 6, they swarmed Ingram. Then they led him nearly 90 yards to the opposite end zone to for his group photo. Rituals are only rituals if they keep happening.

The Jack Boys don't plan on changing now. The celebration is their trademark, the sign of a group uprooted from San Diego and coming together in the City of Angels.

"Bolt Gang or don't bang," Ingram always says. "We grind together. We shine together... We wear Charger Blue."

"It's all fun when everybody celebrates with you"

Every defense poses, but the celebration might honestly belong to Matthew Stafford.

The Lions QB is the one who sent unblocked Saints LB Craig Robertson airborne in Week 6 of last season with a killer pump fake. No fake, no photo.

"(He) got me off my feet," the veteran admitted to NFL Network's Up To The Minute Live last year. "I had God with me. I got my hand down fast enough to get it on the ball (before Stafford threw) to the short route. And it just happened."

The television cameras weren't ready then; the still photographers were. One teammate ran to Robinson. Then another. Then three more.

"When we made the play against Detroit, I said it's all fun when everybody celebrates with you,'" Robinson told told the New Orleans Advocate. "So, I started waving everybody over and said, 'Let's take this picture.'

"It just evolved into everything else."

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