Eagles coach Andy Reid made a rare trip to the media work room today to announce that Eagles practices no longer will be open to reporters.
Previously, reporters were allowed to watch the full Thursday and Friday practices, and the first 10 minutes on Wednesday. The first 10 minutes -- mainly an opportunity for TV and still photography -- will still be open all three days, Reid said, but because reporters are able to "put things together," he will not keep the remainder of those workouts open, as was the custom his first 13 seasons.
Reid said that 27 of the other 31 NFL teams do not allow reporters at practice, and he has come to feel it is an issue of competitive advantage, especially now that information spreads so quickly, through social media.
The Eagles have always restricted what can be reported from practice. Matters of strategy and personnel were taboo, but there was a gray area with personnel; if, say, Jamar Chaney was taking first-team nickel reps, you couldn't say that, but you could ask Chaney about it in the locker room afterward, and use what he said. But there has been friction over the years over exactly how gray the gray area was -- things have been reported that the team felt should not have been; reporters, after all, are in the business of reporting, not of helping teams keep secrets. Some of us have been uncomfortable agreeing to not report what we see.