The story today coming from Jason LaCanfora of CBS reporting on an argument Bills Coach Doug Marrone had with members of the team front office yesterday in plain sight of his team has everyone buzzing. One of the questions is why didn’t the local Bills reporters report on this Thursday night?

The Bills beat reporters regularly attend practice and while they are forbidden to video most of the session they can watch. It’s possible the argument took place while they were distracted or perhaps not on the field yet, but even if they were this would be a tough story to report.

To cover the team every day means they need access and not just the formal interview sessions held at the end of practice. Reporters need to be able to approach a coach or player and talk off the record. Looking over the current crop of media who cover the team, it’s possible some just show up for the “formal” sessions and forgo the cultivating of sources or even professional relationships that would allow them to get “off the record” comments. Regardless, even if they witnessed the shouting match, reporting it could mean a breach of trust with Marrone.

Doug Marrone has already gotten noticeably “cold” in certain interview sessions and his regularly scheduled Friday morning on-air radio chat with Howard Simon and Jeremy White was noticeably chilly. The reporter who wrote or gave an on-air report that Doug Marrone was screaming “go ahead and fire me” to Russ Brandon would instantly be persona-non-grade.

Newspaper columnists could get away with reporting this story because they don’t always regularly attend practice and honestly don’t care about how coaches feel about them one way or another. Columnists usually have sources aside from official circles who give them info and tips.

Back in the days of Bill Polian, if I reported every time I saw Polian red-faced or having words with a staffer my access to what I would have considered the “important” info would have dried up quickly. Jason LaCanfora could write a story like the one that is making news today and not worry about the consequences. That’s not to say the locals should have ignored it if they witnessed the altercation, but I would understand why they wouldn’t.

I was told by a source today that Doug Marrone was never enamored with drafting EJ Manuel last year and some of the moves by the front office have been festering with him since. Now with a new owner just months away from taking over the team the pressure to win has never been greater.

Whether yesterday’s incident was a screaming match or a simple disagreement, it’s obvious the collars at One Bills Drive are awful tight.

Filed under: Koshinski's Korner

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