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The Anatomy Of The Press Conference

I thought this might be an interesting topic given the fact that now there is public access over the internet pretty much whenever Coach Joe speaks. People get to absorb the conference in it's entirety, take everything in the context of the question that was asked and make their own conclusions. Of course, not everyone had time to do all of this, or the inclination to do so, but for those that do, I'm all for it.

But over the last little while I've seen a lot of comments and received a fair number of emails about asking certain questions and trying to pin down certain answers, especially during the Monday pressers. I understand why people harp on this and I get the frustration, too, when Joe delivers somewhat predictable responses or maybe dances around some things.

And that is what this is, in essence, a dance. It's a routine we go through to dissect the game, and, given the fact that a fan anywhere in the world could be watching and this the most open of forums, you are going to get a lot of patented replies. Joe has certain people and principles to protect, and many hats to wear, and he simply cannot or will not venture down some roads. It does not behoove him to do it. That's coaches. It's pretty much the same everywhere in the press conference realm.

We, as media schlubs, can follow up on things and press certain topics, and we do, but at a certain point in this job you realize that for all the waltzing you do with Joe, there's a whole 'nother samba going on behind the scenes. If we relied on Mondays to stay on top of things, and if that was the extent of our probing we'd be lost. It's a useful tool and we appreciate every bit of access we get, but it's a small part of the information arsenal. If all the White House folks did was rely on Dubba's nonsensical and sporadic on-the-record press conference ramblings to get the true picture, well, that's a scary thought is all.

Sometimes it gets counterproductive to harp on one thing too much on Mondays. You get a sense when to pullback and when to press ahead and when Joe is not going to change his tune no matter what. There are other days of the week where Joe talks in a less formal setting, without everything open to be broadcast on a TV camera or over the internet, and there often a better give and take then. Plus, you're constantly talking to players, agents, people in other organizations, coaches, etc.

I honestly, truly, completely understand the thought that after a game like the one in New York, Monday will provide the firm, straight-dope answers everyone wants to hear, but it's a tough setting for true reality TV.

Okay, after practice I'll update the injury status of some guys. Basically the same group was not practicing again. Frost was not punting during the period of practice we get to see.

Cheers.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 12, 2006; 1:36 PM ET
 
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Comments

JLa,

You get to see a bit of practice then they close it. Do they throw off campus or put you in a dark windowless room and throw animal bones down there to feed you?

Posted by: Skinz | October 12, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

They run us over with golf carts and drag us through the mud ...
Nah, after they get ready to break into real practice the PR staff makes an announcement and we get herded back to our media bunker.
Then, when it's over, a PR person comes into the media room, tells us it's over, and we head out to the field.
Pretty sexy, eh?

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 12, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if any one else feels this way, but I am sick of Joe Gibbs' press conferences. His answers are so laim and very predictable. His use of the word "there" in almost every sentence is annoying. I just wish he was more straight forward and honest in his responses. The worst thing is that weird laugh he now lets out sometimes. I don't recall that laugh during his first go round.

Posted by: Stro | October 12, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

They run us over with golf carts and drag us through the mud ...

Invite SC the next time they do that.

Posted by: Megskin | October 12, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Stro,

I can assure you gibbs had that cackle in the first go 'round with this team. I was 13 when he left the team, and even I remember this.

And I could never, ever, get sick of Joe Gibbs' press conferences. Never. The guy is my hero, I am fascinated by him. Is it wierd that I'd pay to watch him eat, read a book, probably even sleep?

-Barno

Posted by: Barno | October 12, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

I think you need help:) Joe Gibbs was a great coach. Unfortunately, not anymore. He really needed Bobby Bethard to counter balance his poor talent assessment skills. Case in point: Andre Carter, Adam Arentyougonnacoversomeoneallta. I'm one of the biggest Skins fans of all time, but the reality is that these Skins are not very good.

Posted by: Stro | October 12, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Barno, something is not with you my friend. lol

Posted by: jm220 | October 12, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Barno...(Nodding head and looking around the room...trying to guage whether or not to start a 'slow clap'...beginning slow clap...)

I was 13 also and it was like the time that my mom had to explain to me why my dog wouldn't be around anymore.

JLC, way to handle yours kid. You just keep dropping knowledge and we'll keep throwing ideas around like nerf balls.

Megskin: you're in charge.
Barno, Skinz, Skinz Patrol, Joe in Raleigh, and Haikuman: you guys got snacks.
The Governor and me will bring our old school Nintendo complete with the track and field pad.

Out.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | October 12, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. It should have read Barno, something is not right with you my friend. lol. My boss start walking towards me when I was typing. lol

See JLC, you are going to get me fired. lol

Posted by: jm220 | October 12, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Barno-

"Is it wierd that I'd pay to watch him eat, read a book, probably even sleep?"

Be careful what you say. Dan Snyder trolls this blog. He's probably thinking up a way to monopolize the "Sleeping Joe Gibbs live feed" market as we speak.

Stro-

I don't think Archuleta is a bust yet, though Lloyd and Carter are quickly approaching super-bust status. ARE was still a good move, IMO.

But there have been some very successful personnel decisions under Joe Gibbs v2.0. Sean Taylor is unquestionably a success. Carlos Rogers has struggled this year, but I still think he has what it takes to become a great player (less sure with each passing week, though). Chris Cooley has been a huge part of our offense and we snagged him in the third round. I can't remember, but I believe Gibbs was the one who brought Sellers back to the Redskins fold as well. And who do you think got the winning end of the Coles/Moss trade? Us or the Jets?

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 12, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

AM2DS, If I got snacks, then I hope you're into taquitos. Video game night without taquitos is like peanut butter without jelly.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 12, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

::clapping::

My apologies to JLC and my blogging friends here. I've been in a funk all week and unable to focus my attention on anything other than getting up in the morning, and not getting directly back into bed.

Why must the Skins torment me so!?!

1 TCCL -- Bucktown Skins Fan

Interesting stat from ex-Skins land (as reported by Dave Revsine from ESPN):

Former Redskins secondary coach DeWayne Walker has come in and completely turned around the Bruins D, which has held all five of its opponents under 300 total yards. Last year, only Rice failed to gain at least 300 yards against the Bruins, with 10 of the other 11 opponents all gaining at least 398 yards on them.

Only one of the Bruins' five opponents has scored more than 16 points on them this year. Last season, UCLA gave up more than 16 points in every game it played.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | October 12, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Skin Patrol
I don't think Lloyd a bust yet. Hell, he doesn't have a QB that can get him the damn ball. lol

Posted by: jm220 | October 12, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"...Then, when it's over, a PR person comes into the media room, tells us it's over, and we head out to the field.
Pretty sexy, eh?..."

OMG!!! jason, baby. that's horrible. i had no clue it was like that. i thought ya'll went home or something...
whatchall do in that room the whole time when you didn't have a blog?

you guys go thru all that just so you can satisfy this "beast"...mmm mmm mmm. that's soo messed up. sorry.

and you're absolutely right about you guys knowing when you'll get stalled and don't even bother asking him questions...spurrier was different in that sense(and a whole lot more)...he'd spill his guts out and tell you everything...

Posted by: dealer | October 12, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how the media has really caused coaches to clam up over the years. Joe Paterno is an example of an old school coach that has been burned by the media. He was talking about it at one of his press conferences. In the old days there were a handful of reporters that would go out to dinner or for a few drinks with JoePa. They were pretty much pals. He would tell them a lot, but they would not print stuff that he asked them not to. So there was a great back and forth and actually a very open relationship between old school coaches and reporters. These days it's just not like that anymore. The business is so cut throat that reporters pull words and phrases out of context to mean something completely different than what was intended. So I'm afraid the open relationships between coaches and the media are gone forever. It's a shame that coaches have to feel so guarded with the media these days. It never used to be like that. Joe patarno will probably never sit down for a beer and shoot the breeze with a reporter again. It really is too bad. Joe Gibbs is actually very open with the media compared to most coaches across the league. You never know who the starting RB is going to be in Denver until the first play of the game!!

Posted by: Max | October 12, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how the media has really caused coaches to clam up over the years. Joe Paterno is an example of an old school coach that has been burned by the media. He was talking about it at one of his press conferences. In the old days there were a handful of reporters that would go out to dinner or for a few drinks with JoePa. They were pretty much pals. He would tell them a lot, but they would not print stuff that he asked them not to. So there was a great back and forth and actually a very open relationship between old school coaches and reporters. These days it's just not like that anymore. The business is so cut throat that reporters pull words and phrases out of context to mean something completely different than what was intended. So I'm afraid the open relationships between coaches and the media are gone forever. It's a shame that coaches have to feel so guarded with the media these days. It never used to be like that. Joe patarno will probably never sit down for a beer and shoot the breeze with a reporter again. It really is too bad. Joe Gibbs is actually very open with the media compared to most coaches across the league. You never know who the starting RB is going to be in Denver until the first play of the game!!

Posted by: Max | October 12, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Skin Patrol,

I can agree that a few of the draft picks have worked out. Kinda no brainers. Joe's fundamental mistakes have been relying to much on free agency and Mark Brunell. Joe's record since he has been back is 18 wins, 19 losses. Not very good.

Posted by: Stroh | October 12, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"I am fascinated by him. Is it wierd that I'd pay to watch him eat, read a book, probably even sleep? "


Do you miss his Musk?

Take it easy Barno, why don't you stop typing for a while.

Posted by: Skinz | October 12, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm ashamed of all of us. Just read this.

This Date in NFL History

October 12, 1992 -- Washington wide receiver Art Monk becomes the NFL's all-time leading receiver when he makes his 820th career reception in a 34-3 victory over the Broncos.

Posted by: Skinz | October 12, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm open all the time, I don't know why Brunell doesn't throw me the ball more often. Is it because they always have me running the 30+ yard routes and he's afraid he can't get it to me. I just don't know anymore?

Posted by: B Lloyd | October 12, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Jason, you forgot to add that they herd the cattle into the very front of the building, far away from the locker room or the fields, forced to stare at a parking lot full of players' tricked out rides.

Posted by: Diva | October 12, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Snyder,

If you are trolling this blog PLEASE READ:

I have a suggestion to help reduce the lines at the bathrooms in FedEx and keep more fans in the stands during the games. Just replace the individual urinals with troughs. We don't need fancy individual urinals. It's more important for us fans to get in and out of the bathrooms quickly, so that we don't miss much of the game. These 30 minute lines are killing the loyal redskin fans!!!

Posted by: Max | October 12, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

jm220, you can't sign your comment as B Lloyd and expect us not to know that it's you. Your 30+ yard pass hang-up is a dead giveaway.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 12, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

My head is haning in shame...

Cannot believe that I didn't broadcast my hero's accomplishment 14 years ago today. Not an excuse, but I was all caught up in this Czczczcaban shabingus and plum forgot. Wow.

I might sit the next few plays out.

I ate fiberglass. It wasn't cotton candy like the man said.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | October 12, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Skin Patrol, how can you label someone a bust after 5 games? How is that possible? When Carter had 1 sack, and 2 qb pressures after the J-ville game was he a bust then too? Carter and Lloyd are learning a new, system, but good thing you gave them a 5 game leash. Wow, just wow.

Posted by: Greg (Boston) | October 12, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"...Just replace the individual urinals with troughs..."

max, dude that's too funny. ingenious plan! but i have a simpler plan...don't drink!

1. drinking is bad for you (weed's better i hear ;)

2. if you stop drinking the sales of beer will go down and that's hitting danny where it hurts...in his pocketbook.

Posted by: dealer | October 12, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

B Lloyd;

No, you cannot have the ball. We will not let him throw. We must run, and Mark will follow. All your Mark are belong to us!

Posted by: Mark Brunell's Happy Feet | October 12, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I think we can label someone a bust at this point. I was horrified at the Archu-deeto signing when it happened. The dude can't cover and has never been able to do so. No suprise. For the contract he signed (highest ever for a safety), anything less than pro bowl caliber play after a spring/summer/early season to learn the system is a disapointment. But he's been beyond bad and now they are taking him out of the safety spot during passing situations and going with the juggernaut that is Reed Daughty.

See the problem? You pay a record amount for a safety that doesn't play safety on 2/5 of the downs and is sound in 50% of what a safety does. This, my dear Bostonian, is a classic case of a bust.

For Carter, I can only hope I am wrong. I was pumped about that signing but have seen him be a complete non factor in an overwhelming % of the plays. Through 5 games: bust. Is there time to turn things around? Of course there is. Hope he does.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | October 12, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

OK - we all want/maybe NEED the 'Skins to roll like in 1992 - but a history lesson is in order. The two other teams to win the Super Bowl, while in strike shortened seasons, had fits and starts and didn't dominate the whole year. God, the '87 team with the platoon of Williams and Schroeder was just plain nerve racking to watch. Totally. In other years, when the 'Skins didn't make the playoffs (or even if they did), they have been hugely unpredicatble, and usually underperformed.

However, Gibbs owns November and December, and has always had a reputation for making adjustments that help his team win. Did so last year, and don't see any reason why they won't this year.

Hey, the Meadowlands game went much better this year, then last, right? So, that's progress. :)

So chill, and enjoy the season.

Posted by: John D In Houston | October 12, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Greg from Boston-

"Skin Patrol, how can you label someone a bust after 5 games?"

I can't, which is why I didn't. I said he was approaching bust status. Reread my post.

"Carter and Lloyd are learning a new, system, but good thing you gave them a 5 game leash. Wow, just wow."

Chill on the theatrics. When you give a player a 17 million dollar contract, you expect them to escape a 5 game period --where they start every game-- with more than 6 receptions for 75 yards. Prorate that over a 16 game season, and he's set to catch the ball 19 times for 240 yards. Wouldn't that make him a bust?

Also, if it takes Lloyd longer than 5 weeks + preseason + offseason to "learn a new system" than he is also a bust. Who else on this offense is having to learn a new system? Just about everyone, right? ARE is new to the system and the team as well and he's far more involved.

Andre Carter got a cool 10 million dollar contract and was brought in to improve the pass rush. He has done that in exactly 1 of 5 games thus far.

Now, I'll repeat, I don't think either player is a "bust" yet. But they're approaching that status, especially Brandon Lloyd.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 12, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmm,

See Lloyd is the one that's most incomplete to me. I've only seen like 6 balls thrown his way. That could be him, it could be Brunell. Brunell throws the short stuff to Cooley and the backs. Looks for Moss on the long stuff.

That fumble was not good though.

Posted by: Skinz | October 12, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Mark "Happy Feat" Brunell seems to only focus on one reciever per play. That's why when he only had Moss and Cooley it was better for him. When teams decided to cover those guys he was finished. Now that he has more weapons, he can't seem to find them unless they are behined or at the line of scrimage.

Posted by: Stro | October 12, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Skin Patrol, chill on the theatrics yourself, saying that someone is "approaching super bust status" after 5 games is a tad premature wouldn't you say. I just think its funny that in 5 games you've already have basically give up hope on both players for this year. We should probably just release them, and take the cap hit now, right?

Posted by: Greg(Boston) | October 12, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Someone remarked something about St. Joe's laugh. I'm pretty sure his laugh has always been his laugh, and he's always laughed and joked his way through press conferences. It's the Internets that are new.

As for press conferences, I'm a veteran on the speaker side. Every now and then, you meet a journalist who really knows their stuff, who has studied ahead of time, who knows how to ask good and tough questions, and who has all the good sources. These folks are few and far between.

Just like there are mediocre doctors and mediocre salesmen and mediocre engineers and mediocre football players, there are mediocre journalists who seem to mail it in. For them, you stick to your talking points, and you talk really slow. All you want to do is get out of the ordeal without inflicting damage. Chances are around 75% that they're going to screw up the facts anyhow.

For the ones who venture off the beaten path, who know how to craft and tell a story, and who actually know how to write, I'll bend over backwards to help out. But never at a press conference. Why? Because even though I may be helping out the good ones, I'll only confuse and confound the bad ones. The good ones get exclusives with me or my bosses, and I have a strong policy about never, ever telling a journalist what's off limits.

Finally, I'll add that the *real* story does not come from press conferences. You have to pound the pavement, cultivate sources, make a lot of phone calls, and stitch together something coherent. I could never imagine doing that day in and day out on deadline like Jason, Howard, and the other WashPo staffers have to do. Maybe once or twice a month, but every day? Way too difficult.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 12, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Stro -

I'm sort of on that same wavelength about Brunell getting narrow-sighted with focusing on one receiver. I'll have to watch a bit more carefully this coming game, but I'm beginning to wonder if that has more to do with Mark's general tendencies, or if it stems from the fact that when he scrambles, it's usually towards the side of the field Moss is on.
(Yes, there I go on that whining about the scramble, again....)

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 12, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Greg from Boston-

"saying that someone is "approaching super bust status" after 5 games is a tad premature wouldn't you say."

When would it be appropriate to say he has underperformed on a 17 million dollar contract? Game 10?

The problem is that he wasn't necessarily 17 million dollars good to begin with. He was catching less than 50% of the balls thrown his way (which is very mediocre) in 2005. Same thing in 2004. And 2003... do you see a pattern emerging?

Fast forward to this year. To answer another person's question, Brandon Lloyd has been thrown to 17 times and has 6 catches. That's a 41% catch rate which is downright pitiful.

Is he a "bust" yet? No, not yet, but he's quickly approaching it. The real concern is not that he's going to develop into a "bust" though, it's that he wasn't ever worth 17 million to begin with.

And that sucks. No one wanted this guy to succeed more than me. But at some point, say after a 0 catch game against a division rival, you just have to take stock of what you have: a 17 million contract 3rd-4th WR.

"We should probably just release them, and take the cap hit now, right?"

I haven't given up hope on anyone. But if either player continues to play this way, then by season's end they will unquestionably both be "busts". As I said, Lloyd's numbesr prorate over the course of the season to about 19 catches and 240 yards. Those are eerily similar to David Patten's numbers in 2005.

Do you think Lloyd has performed to expectations thus far?

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 12, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't drink during the games - only the cheap beers I bring myself to consume prior to the game. I don't spend a dime on concessions at FedEx. But you have to realize most fans will be drinking and therefore peeing. And what about the older people who have small bladders, and the non-drinkers who have to wait forever to pee behind the line of drinkers. This would help everybody out in the long run.

We need troughs instead of individual urinals!!

Please sign my petition to old D. Snyder.

Posted by: Max | October 12, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Diva - how do you know the routine so well? Are you at The Boogy-Down Park?

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 12, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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