You read that correctly.
The Buffalo Bills just dropped their 2016 Media Policy and it is... interesting.
NFL teams have been prohibiting the spread of information exponentially but the Bills' 2016 policy is bizarre even by bizarre NFL standards. From the Bills not wanting reporters to report in camp who's on the first team, second team to "who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, QB completion percentage, etc.," the team is trying to crack down on any information from public practices getting to fans.
Just to give you all a heads up on what to expect through OTAs, minicamp and training camp, here are a few excerpts that were just released to the media. Some points seem reasonable, others not so much.
--- Reports (which also include radio reports, tweets, podcasts and blogs) pertaining to strategic and tactical information are strictly prohibited. This includes:
--- Referencing plays run or game strategy, including trick plays or unusual formations.
--- Reporting on personnel groupings, sub-packages, players who are practicing with individual units (first-team, second team, goal line, offense, nickel defense, etc.), special plays, who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, QB completion percentage, etc.
--- Only Bills personnel are permitted on the grass.
--- Members of the media are encouraged to speak to the players during the media availability sessions, but are not permitted to speak with players, coaches or staff members during practice.
--- Still photographers and TV photographers will be permitted to shoot only during the designated portion of individual drills and team stretch during closed practices. All photographers must shoot only from the designated areas. In Training Camp that is on the track around the field, even in the endzones. During the closed practices inside the ADPRO Sports Training Center this includes the gray rubberized area on the north side of the field house. Photographers must stay back at least 10 yards from practice drills that may take place close to the edge of the field. For practices on the grass fields outside the ADPRO Sports Training Center, photographers and all media are permitted on the orange rubberized area next to the field.
--- Media are not allowed to stream any part of practice and the use of live stream applications such as Meerkat and Periscope are not permitted.
--- Reporting, recording or filming of private team conversations or comments which are intended solely for the team and not intended to be made public is strictly prohibited. This includes any conversations between practice personnel (players, coaches, team executives and staff). Examples include post-practice team huddle, communication occurring during practice and private team communication occurring post-practice.
REPORTING ON INJURIES
--- All information regarding injuries and injured players will come from Head Coach Rex Ryan or team spokesman Scott Berchtold. Media should direct any questions they may have in regards to injuries to one of those team representatives.
--- Injuries that occur during practices open to the public can be reported.
--- Media should not report on any injury situation occurring during a practice that is not open to the public with detailed speculation to the potential nature, severity of the injury or level of practice participation. Acknowledging an injury occurred is permitted, but anything beyond a general report would be purely speculative and possibly inaccurate.
--- Still and television photographers are not permitted to shoot or film injured players at a closed practice, even during the period that is open to the media. Filming of injured players rehabbing either before, during or after closed practices is prohibited.
LIVE REPORTING AND STREAMING
--- Reporters are permitted to post live reports (tweeting, blogging, etc.). Live reports are subject to the team’s practice reporting guidelines listed in this policy.
--- TV live reporting during media availability sessions and/or team practices is not permitted unless prior approval has been granted by the Buffalo Bills Media Relations department.
--- Streaming of media availabilities (including press conferences), events or activities and team practices on Ralph Wilson Stadium premises attended by media is not permitted without prior approval from the Bills Media Relations department. This also includes the recent emergence of several live broadcasting and social media applications, including, but not limited to Ustream, Periscope and Meerkat, among others.