For all NFL teams, the P.R. department serves as the conduit between the organization and the media. For most NFL teams, the P.R. staff has another important role.
They get blamed for all sorts of stuff.
If an owner, a coach, a G.M., or another high-level executive doesn’t want to do an interview, there’s no reason to decline directly. Instead, the owner, coach, G.M., or other high-level executive can simply blame it on the P.R. staff.
It happens all the time. On Tuesday, it happened in connection with the controversial media policy in Buffalo.
Asked by reporters about the new rules, coach Rex Ryan said (via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com), “Our media policy isn’t something that I’m involved with.” Ryan then pointed to (you guessed it) a team spokesperson.
That’s right. The new media policy came directly and exclusively from the P.R. staff, with no input of any kind from the head coach of the team. Maybe the G.M. and ownership had no say in it, either. Maybe the P.R. staff once-again has co-opted an NFL franchise, dictating policy without accountability to the various folks for whom the P.R. staff works.
That’s the lesson for today, kids. Don’t aspire to be a coach, a G.M., a team president, or an owner. The real power apparently resides in the P.R. staff.