As Mike Tomlin walked off the field after training camp practice Sunday, he approached some VIPs, smiled widely, and said, "Pretty entertaining stuff today, huh?"

The Steelers coach likely was referring at least in part to the popular goal-line drill. But he very well could have been talking about the fact his top cornerback and No. 1 receiver in camp were at each other's throats virtually all practice long.

Ike Taylor and Antonio Brown twice got into each other's faces and were seen pushing, shoving, jawing and doing just about anything else to each other short of throwing punches.

The two are matched up on each other all camp as the main players at their respective positions, and each is a popular, easygoing figure in the locker room. But they were seen slapping each other in the helmet while running down the field during drills midway through Sunday's practice.

Then, toward the end of the practice, a ball was thrown up for grabs intended for Brown between the two in the end zone during a 7-on-7 drill. That led to pushing and shoving that left both players' helmets off.

They again went at it again similarly after practice ended in the middle of the field.

Coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the fisticuffs.

"We are competitors. Guys are competing," Tomlin said. "Those things happen, but these guys understand what we're working for and when we step in the stadiums, we're together. When you fight your brother, sometimes it gets a little heated when you see guys repeatedly. The guys understand what that's about and they'll leave it on the grass where it should be."

When asked a follow-up question by a reporter, Tomlin got testy.

"What do you want me to do, explain?" he said. "What do you want me to explain? It's emotional, played by emotional men, it's very competitive, things happen. I explained it. Questions."

About 20 minutes after practice ended, Brown and Taylor were spotted walking and chatting with wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery between them. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert also was part of the discussion for a time. Taylor was holding an ice bag to his forehead above his right eye.

The players walked off the field together on the opposite side of the media.

"I don't know exactly what happened," fullback Will Johnson said. "Just that's what happens when two great guys start competing, that's what you get."

Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLPIT and @BuzzsawPGH.