Blogging the Boys
[W]ith only four pool reporters, we are going to be very limited, and the chance for significant things to simply be overlooked is pretty big. In the past, if some of them missed out on a nice play on the field, there were plenty of others to take up the slack. That is going to be a lot more dicey.
There is also the limitation of just having one video and one still photographer. Many times, one angle of a play did not give a good look at what was happening, but with several smartphones focused on every play, there was usually a better view available. No more.
Obviously, the practices are also closed to the public. And some of the best analysis often came from fans and non-credentialed media. All that will be missing.
So right off the bat, the information coming out of the practices will be down to a comparative trickle.
Clubs are permitted to limit videotaping or photography to certain portions of Training Camp practice
So large portions of practice may not be recorded at all. Probably, that will be the things we are most interested in.
No reporting of which players are practicing with individual units (goal line offenses, nickel defenses, etc)
One of the most entertaining things during camp is projecting who will make the roster. And a lot of that comes from how players are used.
This pretty much wipes that out. It is not even clear if the reporting can go into who is with the first string, or if special teams is considered a unit that cannot be discussed. This seems like a true challenge for the pool reporters to try and give us some meaningful information.
No blogging, texting, tweeting or reporting of any kind is permitted from practic, including comments overheard between players, coaches and staff while on-site. This information may also not be included in reporting (social media or otherwise) at a later date.
In other words, no live coverage. At all. The NFL has basically eliminated the social media age and taken us back a few decades, where all we will have are written recaps sometime after the practice concludes. The trickle is in fact a slow drip. And the censoring of anything overheard takes all the color out of the coverage, reducing us to reading reconstructed notes taken by reporters for whom note taking has probably become a lost art.
It is not clear if there is any plan to have a live video feed from the practice, but given the other restrictions detailed here, that seems very unlikely. If there is, though, it could give us a real chance to bloviate about things, although we would only be limited to whatever portion of the practice the team would deem appropriate to share. That would probably not be much.
The pool report ma note which players are practicing as well as those who are not.
Well, at least we’ll have some idea of who might be injured, or taking a rest day. Yay.
The pool report may include non-strategy and non-game plan observations.
The obvious implication is that the reporters can’t talk about strategy or game planning. Which are just some of the most intriguing things we have seen from past camps.
Big Blue View
As NFL players and fans alike prepare for what might be a different looking season to come, one question that has not gotten a lot of attention is this: What might it be like playing quarterback in relative silence?
Now, I understand why our fearless editor assigned me this story. After all, who better to ask about playing quarterback absent crowd noise than someone who played Division 3 football? You haven’t experienced a silent crowd until you’ve lined up under center on a rainy day in Brunswick, Maine as the Bowdoin College Polar Bears host the Wesleyan Cardinals.
[S]ometimes if the crowd is quiet or the stadium is empty, the QB’s play call in the huddle can carry, even across the line of scrimmage to where those “sharpies” are listening for anything that might give them an advantage.
At the line of scrimmage, operating in silence is going to be a benefit for the offense. Any time you have attended an NFL game, you know what the stadium does when the home team has the football. Prodded on by the scoreboard, the crowd sits in relative silence, thanks to the “quiet please, offense at work” command on the Jumbotron.