Now that preseason and the Thursday opener are done, things at Redskins Park are finally settling into a more typical weekly routine. It’s not quite there yet — today is a normal practice day, which the Monday after a game wouldn’t be — but it’s getting close, and for the media it’s pretty much set.
I’ve written in the past about the evolving media procedure, but in quick summary: during training camp, it was all about post-practice onfield interviews. For preseason, it switched to an hour or so of scheduled media availability outside behind Redskins Park, usually around lunchtime. And now it’s moved to the regular season phase, a period of open locker room time before practice when the assembled media throng migrates from player to player collecting quotes and sound bites.
The reason for the changing schedule is surprisingly simple: space. With rosters at 80 (and, briefly, 75), a row of temporary lockers makes the middle of the locker room look like this:
Twenty extra players, with all of their gear, clothes, stuff, locker knick-knacks and so on eat up enough space that trying to squeeze the media in there becomes just short of physically impossible.
Trimming almost a quarter of the workforce, though, loosens things up nicely. All but four of the temporary lockers are removed, and those four are pushed against the far wall, clearing out the middle of the room almost entirely. (The four extra lockers are there to account for future need, in case of post-injury signings and the like.) The net result looks like this, from roughly the same spot:
This leaves plenty of room for the cameras and beat reporters and PR guys and everyone else to circulate freely. It also clears the lines of sight, so that if one set of cameras gets a guy giving a particularly interesting quote, everyone else can hustle over and make sure they don’t miss anything, although not everyone views that as a positive. It seems like something of an unusual arrangement to me — I can’t imagine how I would feel if for an hour every day, a horde of people came into my office and started interrogating me and my coworkers — but everyone here just appears pleased to finally be settling in to what it’s going to be for the next few months.
Filed under: Week 2 | Tagged: locker room, Media | 1 Comment »