Bills Open Pathetic New Media Policy for OTAs

Tyrod Taylor

If you are a Buffalo Bills fan who has not heard by now, the team has released a new media policy in regards to covering the team’s voluntary workouts, known as organized team activities (OTAs).

Yes, it is only May. Yes, OTAs are not mandatory. And, yes, there is not hitting yet, so it’s not as engaging as training camp. But this is not a football issue.

It is a bit pathetic to think that a National Football League team would be so bothered by the media that certain negative things cannot be shared with the public. Injuries are one thing because they are a different animal to tame.

However, here is the irritating part: “Reporting on… who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, QB completion percentages, etc.” 

Are you kidding me? As someone who is aspiring to cover the team, I would like to know how some of these rookies look in OTAs. Rookies like linebacker Reggie Ragland, who has been known to struggle in pass coverage. Or linebacker Eric Striker, an undrafted free agent who the Bills got a solid value with. Or quarterback Cardale Jones, who will be competing for the backup role with E.J. Manuel.

What could have been an idea to not leak out new defensive strategies and rotations turned into a media disaster. Reporters should never be subjected to censoring what they see is going on in practices. Because, quite frankly, it is their job that they get paid to do and support themselves in this world.

Honestly, seeing Mike Rodak (ESPN) using math equations to tell us who was struggling, or Tyler Dunne (Buffalo News) and Joe Buscaglia (WKBW) mixing both sarcasm and genuine reporting, or Dunne, Buscaglia and Matthew Fairburn ( skipping some rules and reporting on who took first-team reps, was a very refreshing way of sticking it to the Buffalo Bills organization. I liked that other Bills reporters like John Wawrow (Associated Press), Bucky Gleason and Tim Graham (Buffalo News) openly showing their disgust for these rules.

There are fans that are angry about the kind of tweets the Bills’ reporters were dishing. Why? There are too many people who work at jobs where they have to say only good things about their company’s products, and they hate it. Imagine being censored from saying what you want truly want to say, which is a person’s basic right in this country.

This censorship of reporting is showing of a team that is scared and not ready to step up and challenge for the AFC East, again. A team not ready to make the playoffs again for a 17th consecutive season. Instead, the Bills could challenge the New Orleans Saints for the longest postseason drought of all time in the modern-day NFL at 20 years from 1967-1986. This just goes to show that this Bills team is just the “Same Ol’ Bills” from year’s past. At this point, no matter what changes, the team will never earn the respect they desire.

How can the Bills change the negativity surrounding the team? How about win 10 games and make the playoffs? Give the fans something to cheer for in January, instead of having them look up the latest mock drafts. Censoring the media from tweeting out what happens during OTAs is not going to help your football team any better.

Let’s face it: the people who report on the Bills have been doing their job well enough since 1999. As for the franchise, not so much. Until then, worry about winning.

Written by Derek Kramer

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