The Atlanta Falcons were starting Lamar Holmes at left tackle and Jeremy Trueblood at right tackle. This was fairly clear because Sam Baker was so banged up and there was no chance they were installing Trueblood at left tackle, and it became a certainty later in the week when D. Orlando Ledbetter reported it.
#Falcons were not happy with the reporting of RT Jeremy Trueblood and LT Lamar Holmes moving to LT last week.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) September 25, 2013
There's fallout from that reporting. The team is limiting reporters to 30 minutes of practice, which will severely limit what they can tell us about what the team is up to. Basically, they'll be able to ask some questions based on the injury reports, but their observations will be lost.
Days of watching #Falcons practices in their entirety are over. We'll only get 30 minutes, mostly stretching & teams.— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) September 25, 2013
I'm not privy to the inner workings of the Falcons or DOL's reportage, so the following two possibilities should be thought of as guesses.
- The Falcons have an official or unofficial rule about reporters simply reporting what they observe without running it through a team source first. DOL broke that rule, and the Falcons are responding to that breach.
- The Falcons didn't want their plans revealed, have plans to do something new in practice this week and decided they couldn't chance having it get out. They're at least temporarily closing things down to protect something new.
I'm not opposed, per se, to a team limiting practices. The Falcons have been one of the more open teams in the league for local media, and if they want to restrict access to maintain some competitive advantage or try out something new, then it's well within their rights to do so. It just feels like odd timing with the 1-2 start, and it feels a bit petty when you consider that Thomas Dimitroff was openly touting Lamar Holmes' ability to play left tackle in an interview with 790 last week. I'm willing to buy that there's a good reason—either of my theory offers at least a plausible and semi-understandable position—but it's the kind of move a team makes during tense times.
Of course, if my first theory is correct, DOL is just straight up trolling:
#Falcons LT Sam Baker is not dressed for practice.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) September 25, 2013
#Falcons RB Steven Jackson is not dressed for practice.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) September 25, 2013
No sighting of #Falcons WR Roddy White during open portion of practice.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) September 25, 2013
Ultimately, this doesn't matter much to the fans, save information being a bit more limited than it was before. I'm just not sure I understand the reason.