Players from more than a few teams have organized lockout workouts. Some teams’ workouts have been wide open to the media. Others, well, haven’t.
The Colts, for example, have been criticized by their local media for conducting practices with no media access. The Patriots have kept the media away, too, from apparently less organized throw-the-ball-in-the-backyard sessions. Now, the Panthers are drawing national scorn for using police officers to keep the media away from their player-organized activities.
Our good friend Michael Silver (with whom we’re about to disagree sharply) says the Panthers are “acting like morons” and “wimps” in his latest Yahoo! Sports column, punctuating his points with some PFT-level snark.
“This just in, guys,” Silver writes. “Nobody wants to steal any of your secrets, unless they’re looking for a primer on how not to play professional football.”
We’ll defer to Silver’s well-written column for the bulk of his quotes. For now, we’ll simply raise two good reasons for the Panthers to keep the media away.
First, the players have enough to worry about. Already forced to act as the coaches due to the lockout, the players have neither the desire nor the expertise to shepherd the media during the practices. Sure, the players could just allow the reporters to mill about without supervision or coordination or limitation, but at a certain point that absence of rules becomes a distraction.
Second, Cam Newton.
Thus, we’ve got no problem with players not wanting to have to worry about anything other than being players. When it comes to also being coaches, they’ve got no choice during the lockout. When it comes to all other things related to running a football team, they have an option. And the smartest option for some teams may very well be to keep the media out.