Observations from Cincinnati Bengals training camp

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) in a calm moment during June minicamp. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) in a calm moment during June minicamp. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

The fifth day of Cincinnati Bengals training camp was the feistiest, leading to a couple of skirmishes in the first session closed to the public but open to season ticket and suite holders.

Here are some observations from Tuesday’s practices:

Skirmishes, squabbles

The chippiness started early in practice on the second play of 11-on-11 when linebacker Vontaze Burfict hit Giovani Bernard low and took him to the ground in a non-tackling drill.

It wasn’t the kind of thing that should happen in that type of drill, especially against a player eight months removed from ACL surgery. Running backs coach Kyle Caskey confronted Burfict about the hit on Bernard, and Burfict gave Caskey a shove to set off the skirmish. The offensive line jumped to Caskey’s defense, and soon players from both sides of the ball swarmed in to form a mass fray.

›› RELATED: VIDEO of the play, skirmish

“Training camp as the day is long has always been like that,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “So you know, you get to the fifth day, you’ve been in shorts the whole time, you get into pads the last couple days and the edges become a little sharper. Obviously you don’t want to get anybody hurt out here. We want to keep the backs up, keep everybody clean so when we get to the Baltimore game in here in the stadium we’ve got all our guys available.”

Asked about the hit after practice, Bernard simply said of Burfict, “He slipped,” before adding, “Guys, stop looking for the quote. You’re not getting it out of me.”

Late in the practice, another fight broke out when cornerback Adam Jones popped Tyler Boyd as the wide receiver rolled out looking to pass on a trick play, although neither of those players was involved in the main fight in the aftermath. Instead it was tight end Tyler Eifert, who had words with Burfict after the Bernard hit, and safety Shawn Williams.

“We’re wasting time pushing and shoving,” coach Marvin Lewis said after practice. “Just go back to the huddle, go to the next play and do it right.”

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Kicking continues

The two remaining kickers after Jonathan Brown was cut Monday went head to head for the first time Tuesday, sort of.

Since OTAs when kickers have gone head to head, they have alternated kicks from the same distance. Tuesday it was different, with rookie fifth-round pick Jake Elliott making short field goals of 17, 20, 24 and 31 yards before giving way to incumbent Randy Bullock, who hit from 35, 43 and 40 before missing wide right from 44.

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It was Bullock’s first miss of camp.

Elliott’s only miss came Monday on a 40-yarder when he was the only one who kicked.

Rookie highs, lows

Rookie fourth-round defensive end Carl Lawson was a standout in OTAs, but there was some question whether he would be as disruptive in camp when the pads went on and the offensive linemen would be able to get their hands on him.

›› MORE: Former Bengals kicker Nugent gets another shot in the NFL

But he’s still making plays, doing so again by stopping rookie running back Joe Mixon, who has been electric through the first week of practices, in the backfield on a running play.

The loss wasn’t Mixon’s fault because Lawson was in his face shortly after he got the ball. But another play was, and Mixon knew it. In a 7-on-7 passing drill in the red zone, Mixon had a stone cold drop. After expressing animated exasperation, he dropped to the ground and did a dozen knuckle pushups as self punishment.

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