This did not go over well.
The Buffalo Bills kicked off their offseason team activities on Tuesday, practicing for the first time since the end of the 2015 season as the squad searches for a starting quarterback and a potential playoff berth for the first time since 1999.
But before the Bills took the field, the organization sent out an email to the reporters who cover the team informing them of the new media policy for the 2016 season.
OK, that all seems fine. It’s nice to know the team appreciates the media—as a former NFL reporter, I’m on board with an organization that’s on board with me. So, what does the policy actually say?
OK, that’s bad. It makes sense that football coaches, who happen to be some of the most paranoid people on earth, don’t want specific plays or specific personnel groupings to be public knowledge. Most NFL reporters understand that and are careful not to give away confidential information that an opponent could use to its advantage.
But not tweeting about whether a quarterback is intercepted or whether a cornerback was burned by a receiver, well, that’s ridiculous. And that was an opinion shared by many after the Bills released their policy.
Luckily, the reporters weren’t deterred from tweeting their observations during the practice. Some were simply cryptic about what was happening. Warning: Math will be involved.
But some reporters completely ignored the policy changes altogether.
The policy was even confusing for at least one Bills offensive lineman.
And don’t blame head coach Rex Ryan. Apparently, he knows nothing about it. Apparently.
Ultimately, the Pro Football Writers Association—which works as an advocate for writers covering NFL teams—will get involved, and the Bills probably will back down from this policy. Otherwise, perhaps not as many people will pay attention.
But in a league where the Bills are considered one of the worst-run organizations, perhaps that’s not such a terrible thing for the franchise.
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