Panthers’ private workouts draw public criticism


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.

33 responses to “Panthers’ private workouts draw public criticism

  1. Has anyone considered that they may be hiding practices in case some injury occurs they can hide this from the team thus protecting them from being put on the non football injury list and allowing them to still get paid. Most injuries you can battle through for a short time when the season starts and claimed it happened then.

  2. The workouts should be private, yes it would be nice to know what is going on with the team,but look at all the attention The Vikings got yesterday when only 7 players showed up for work-out and none of them were major names.

  3. Can’t say I blame players for not wanting to deal with media and just wanting to play football. Perhaps Silver should go and work for fox news instead you don’t even need real material to come up with stories for them.

  4. The media acts like it’s their RIGHT to be everywhere and in everyones face, it’s out of control.

  5. I’m with the players on this one. This is not at all like the regular training camps of the NFL teams where the NFL dictates that the coaches and players have to be available for so much time each day. Each team has professionals on staff to make sure that it happens with the least amount of discomfort to the coaches, the players and the media. In this case the players are out there on their own with no media relations safety net. I say let them be.

  6. Its not the media birth right to cover a private workout by players. They make think it is, but sorry Charlie.

  7. Why is the Silver so obsessed with being at these workouts in the first place? He seems really upset that he doesn’t get to watch a bunch of shirtless guys in gym shorts playing catch and doing jumping jacks…. not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  8. “The Patriots have kept the media away, from apparently less than organized back yard throw the ball”

    Maybe you should read ESPN Boston is update your site. Seems the Patriots held practice at BC which is as close you can come to a professional facility unlike other teams that practice at the local HS

  9. So M Silver has gone from being one of Sports Ills top NFL writers to complaining about not being allowed in a private workout on Yahoo Sports.
    Not exactly an upward career path.

  10. The media is out of hand. It’s a private session for a reason. Guys like him think the media is God and should be able to cover anything and everything and get upset when they can’t.

  11. Not a huge fan of Cam, but i would love to see him do well simply because good football is more fun to watch and i think we are do for another GREAT QB. Also… sick sunglasses!

  12. Newt never going to give up that jersey number. He feels it gives him the “OO”! factor.

  13. As far as fashion accessories go, those shades do about the same for Newton’s public image as Al Davis’ band aids.

  14. The media is desperate for stories – but unless some players feel its in their interest to invite them, it seems like a no-brainer that they’re better off conducting workouts in private.

    The fewer football stories there are the angrier fans are going to get and the quicker this is going to be resolved – so as much as I’d love to know what’s happening in the player practices, I’d much prefer more pressure on both sides to get a deal done and play real football.

  15. This is the same guy that said the Panthers don’t “deserve Andrew Luck,” as if he is some sort of commodity that only Michael Silver deems worthy. Even though Carolina cut all the vets to save money to pay their stadium employees during the eventual lockout. He’s made it clear that the niners are worthy of Luck which is coincidentally where Silver is from. This guy gives real journalists a bad rap.

  16. The players right to privacy is more important than any media hack trying to find out whats going on.

    Screw all the media. They are just a overall pain in the ass trying to subject their own opinion on everyone else.

  17. In other words, the fans of the Carolina Kitty cats realize there is nothing this team can do to become a contender. I don’t blame them, that team sucks, and to many egos to deal with, now add a QB that already has a ego problem.
    “Nobody wants to steal any of your secrets, unless they’re looking for a primer on how not to play professional football.” HAHAH I LOVE THIS LINE… Although I think the Cleveland Browns fit this one better.

  18. NOW, this has got to be one of the only GOOD thing to comes out of this lock-out. These players aren’t forced by the corporate run NFL to kiss the behinds of the spoilt brats and the “we need to to know every move these athletes make so we can keep our 24/7 news cycle going” corporate run sports media cause the athletes are no longer under the power of the NFL to do so. YES…

    Why should these athletes and fans be the only ones suffering due to this lock-out; while you sports writers get to go on like business as usual.

    If the fans and the athletes have to suffer through this lock-out because of corporate greed, then so should our coporate run sports media.

    Stop trying to bully lock-out players, who are forced to find alternative ways to help out the rookies and stay in shape during this lock-out, into letting you have your way.

  19. hobartbaker says:
    Jun 2, 2011 4:55 PM
    As far as fashion accessories go, those shades do about the same for Newton’s public image as Al Davis’ band aids.


    5 stars for working Cam and Al Davis in the same joke. Personally i like the shades but damn that was funny.

  20. Wouldn’t go to Yahoo! sports if Silver wasn’t there. He’s probably the best writer on football now. Miss Z (my second fav), but what are you gonna do? Hope he gets well.

    And the guys knocking Silver here are the same guys that are always talking nonsense and think the football is round and you kick it past the goalie.

    Silver is about the only writer now with courage and conviction to tell the truth. These Pather jokers ought to be finding ways to reach their fans instead of alienating them. Hiring cops? Last guy I heard doing that was Big Ben down in Georgia and he wasn’t up to anything good there.

    PS – Wrote a great article about the decertification. Turns out the owners FORCED the players to organize a union and then told them if they (the owner) ever opted out of a CBA the union could decertify without reason.

    I wonder if that has anything to do with the peanut gallery acting out as petulant children here?

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