NFL makes coach conference calls with opposing reporters non-mandatory

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
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A mini-kerfuffle emerged on Tuesday, with various reporters who cover the Broncos openly complaining about the fact that the Jaguars won’t be making coach Urban Meyer available for a conference call in advance of Sunday’s game between the two teams.

In past years, it was mandatory. This year, the league made it optional.

The sessions traditionally have been valuable, with many relevant quotes coming when reporters who have no reason to tread lightly with a given coach willing to ask pointed questions. Often, the reporters that regularly cover a team don’t want to be the one to ask the question that they know won’t be appreciated — an in turn could impact access, relationships, etc.

The league, as we understand it, decided to stop making the sessions mandatory because they weren’t useful or properly utilized. They’re definitely useful. We’ve based many PFT items over the years on quotes given by a coach to the media covering the opposing team. Given the pragmatic limitations on the things that many reporters covering a given team will ask that team’s coach, it makes sense to make them available to reporters who may be less inclined to avoid third-rail topics.

Like, you know, the sudden coaching vacancy at USC.

8 responses to “NFL makes coach conference calls with opposing reporters non-mandatory

  1. Question to Urb: will you take the USC job after your team falls to 1-10?
    Urb: Right now I’m the coach of the Jaguars, and that’s my focus (other than working out my exit strategy, and my contract with USC)

  2. First off, we wouldn’t be on this site if we didn’t like sports journalism, so let’s not act like this isn’t important.

    Secondly, I think this might be more detrimental to us getting the sound bites we crave than journalists currently not being allowed in the locker room.

  3. Some coaches will continue to give the interviews, like Pete Carroll, because he can talk for 15 minutes and not say anything and then ask for another question.

  4. Blah blah blah, asked the bottom feeding sports journalist. Blah-de-blah-de-blah replied the reticent head coach. Yawn went the average sports fan.

  5. The level of competition at the coaching level is no different than the playing level. NFL is top notch, nobody gets 32 first round draft picks year after year.

  6. The only thing more cringy than the media is the media complaining about crap like this. Ruins everything. Like the swarm of photographers immediately following the games, swarmed around the players so thick you cant even see anything. Gross.

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