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Young's throwing hand ok after throwing punch

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Hopefully for the Tennessee Titans, Vince Young learned a very important lesson Wednesday in training camp. Never -- ever -- throw a punch again with his throwing hand.

Luckily for the 2006 offensive rookie of the year and the Titans, the punch thrown at safety Donnie Nickey glanced off his helmeted head.

"The guys stick up for the quarterback, and he sticks up for his teammates," coach Jeff Fisher said. "Enough said."

Young has never hid his competitive spirit, whether back in college at Texas or since being drafted last year by the Titans. During training camp last year, he leveled defensive tackle Randy Starks after having a pass intercepted.

Nickey, who primarily plays special teams and played at Ohio State, had knocked down receiver Joel Filani earlier when the rookie ran the wrong route, a post when the defense was defending against the post.

Trainers helped Filani to the side, then Nickey broke up the pass by taking receiver Courtney Roby to the ground on the very next play by putting his right arm around Roby's neck in a chokehold move. Young, who had thrown the pass, erupted.

He yelled at Nickey and asked him what he was doing, telling him to quit that stuff. Young ran over as Roby stayed on the ground. Nickey put his right hand on Young's chest before the quarterback shoved back and took a swing at the safety.

Tight end Bo Scaife came in and helped push Nickey away from the fray, and 13-year veteran center Kevin Mawae got in front of Young, pushing him clear. Young took several minutes to cool off and continued yelling back.

Fisher pulled his team together at midfield and reminded them to cool it. After practice ended, Nickey met with Roby and shared a half hug, and Young hugged Nickey. Fisher then made the three stand behind him as he talked with reporters.

"My preference is not to see my quarterback throwing punches with his throwing hand. Secondly, we need to avoid the stuff on the field, and hey, it happens. Everything is OK. Right?" Fisher asked of the trio.

They all said yes.

Young said the incident was over, families fight and they all got it off their chest. Asked about throwing a punch with his throwing hand.

"That's bad. That's bad. That's real bad," Young said.

Nickey, a three-year veteran, said he understands that would have been a great play on Sunday in a game but that he shouldn't have done that to his own teammate. He apologized to Roby and realized it wasn't a clean hit.

"Someone comes at me, I'm not going to back down. I don't care if it's Vince, President Bush. That's just instincts that come out. But I respect him for it. I didn't want that to happen. I think it's over. We put it to bed," Nickey said.

However, he did have some advice for Young in the future if he does decide to start swinging again.

"At least not with your right hand man. Jab with the left and wait for the cavalry," Nickey said.

Notes: Running back LenDale White took part in non-contact drills Wednesday but not team drills. Coach Jeff Fisher said he had a sore shoulder and White wanted to practice. But Fisher said it was the coaches' decision to hold him out. ... Veteran right guard Benji Olson missed practice because he was meeting with a specialist about his lower back. He has missed a couple days because of his low back. ... Defensive end Travis LaBoy and defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona sat out with tight hamstrings. Offensive lineman Leroy Harris missed with a mild knee strain, and defensive tackle Rien Long was given the practice off after lightning forced the team to the indoor practice field before coming back outside.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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