Fred Warner and Brandon Aiyuk fought at 49ers’ practice Tuesday. What’s fueling their feud?
The San Francisco teammates have gotten chippy with each other early in training camp.
A little competition between teammates is par for the course at NFL training camps, and it can even get a little feisty.
That’s happening at San Francisco 49ers camp right now, with some chippiness brewing between linebacker Fred Warner and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Reporters who are at camp said the pair got after each other twice during practice Tuesday.
In Round II, Brandon Aiyuk and Fred Warner both squared up, ready to throw hands but that certainly wouldn’t have been great since both had helmets on. Both quickly ended up on the bottom of a scrum as teammates got involved— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) August 2, 2022
The fighting led 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan to pause practice at one point, according to The Athletic’s David Lombardi.
There’s some background to it all.
According to The Mercury News’ Jerry McDonald, the pair engaged in some “healthy verbal back-and-forth” last Wednesday when the team opened camp.
Aiyuk, a third-year pro out of Arizona State, joked last week that Warner is the “most annoying player on the defense to go up against in team drills,” per NBC Sports.
When asked about Aiyuk’s “annoying” comment, Warner — the former BYU star who’s a team captain on the San Francisco defense — explained how he hopes to use the pestering to motivate Aiyuk.
“Specifically with Brandon, I chose him out,” Warner told reporters last Saturday. “And I’ll say why. I think he’s ready to make that next step and to play at an elite level. Ever since he got here, I’ve gotten after him a little bit going around the locker room and around the building because I know how much he has in him.
“And I know if I nag him a little bit, he’s going to get tired of that and kind of hold his own.”
Warner added that he likes what he’s seeing out of Aiyuk.
“He works super hard. He’s starting to really getting into that mindset that he’s the guy, and he’s capable. I’m just trying to get the best out of him. That’s it,” Warner said.