Eagles coach Andy Reid has decided to be less open with the media.
Reid told the reporters who cover the team today that he has decided to give them less access to practices. In the past, Reid allowed reporters to watch full practices on both Thursdays and Fridays. Now Reid is only allowing reporters to attend the first 30 minutes of practice, which is what NFL rules require every team to allow.
“My No. 1 priority here is to win football games and to put the best product on the field,” Reid said. “Just to minimize any of the competitive advantages that take place, I want to do this. I think it’s best for the fans, it’s best for our football team. . . . I just want to minimize anything, any competitive advantage that another team might possibly have.”
As a member of the media, I’ll always advocate for more access and more information being shared with the public. But I have to admit that I suspect Reid is right that there are competitive advantages to a team closely guarding the amount of information it allows to become public. According to the Eagles, only six NFL teams allow the media any practice access beyond that 10-minute minimum that the NFL mandates.
It wouldn’t be surprising if that number soon drops from six to zero.
UPDATE 6:25 p.m. ET: After we published this item, the league office forwarded us the rules for practice access, which state: “Following the completion of Week 2 of the NFL preseason schedule through the regular season and playoffs, daily practice (Monday through Friday) must be open to local media (those who regularly cover the team) for at least the first 30 minutes or until the start of “team” work. It is permissible to limit the videotaping or photographing of certain portions of practice.”