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The Bernstein Brief: Bears Fighting An Uphill Battle

By Dan Bernstein-- senior columnist

(CBS) They were told to knock off the stupidity, all of them. Bears coach John Fox declared that enough was enough, after he and the team were embarrassed by a melee at the team's Family Fest practice two weekends back. Jay Cutler even leveled direct criticism against Kyle Long in the wake of what was just the latest skirmish.

Fox told the Boers and Bernstein Show last week that he thought a few of those fights had value early in training camp but also acknowledged that he was ready to curtail it before it became an impediment or distraction from their more important work or before anybody got hurt doing it.

So for their trip to Foxboro to work against the Patriots this week, Fox repeated his direction that the players avoid such post-whistle silliness. His counterpart did the same, with New England coach Bill Belichick reiterating his already strict and standing "no fighting" rule.

But Patriots cornerback Malcom Butler and Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery didn't listen. They scrapped, and both were removed from the field. Other reports said Martellus Bennett and Lamarr Houston got into it after a field goal drill.

In a rare public show of discipline, Belichick and Fox made their teams run up a nearby hill after practice, and the Patriots were also punished by extra work on the blocking sled.

One of these teams is actually good, and the other needs to concentrate more on getting better at football than acting like children.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Boers and Bernstein Show" in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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