It was reported last week that Albert Breer will be leaving NFL Network/NFL Media and heading for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB site. There, he’ll be able to do reporting that he wasn’t able to do while working for the league-owned channel. In an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, Breer expressed frustration in working for NFL Network saying he was limited in what he could report.
“I think the best way to put it is I’ve been there five-and-a-half years and it’s a very limiting place in a lot of different ways,” Breer said. “The rules were one way when I got there, and they’re very, very different now. And there are a lot of stories that I haven’t been able to do that I will be able to do now.”
Breer joined NFL Network in 2010 after working at the Boston Globe and was concerned whether he would have the independence to report as he did with the Globe and he was assured that he would But as he continued working for NFL Media, Breer noticed things had changed and said it became harder for him to report as he wished:
“I think when I got there, there was very clearly a wall between us and the league. It was one of the first questions I asked when I left the Globe, is, ‘Am I going to be able to do the job the way that I did it at the Globe?’ And the people that were there said absolutely. And that held true for a little while. That wall is now gone and it’s a big reason why, probably two or three months ago, I just decided we’re going to stop talking to them and we’re going to find somewhere else to go. I’m glad I found a really, really good place to go and hopefully we can do some real good stories there.”
Apparently Breer’s frustration started with the lockout in 2011 and continued when he could no longer attend and cover New England Patriots press conference in the wake of his challenging of coach Bill Belichick during the infamous “on to Cincinnati” press conference.
“It’s just, you’re taught for all these years to challenge people, and that’s your job and everything else. I think you guys got a first-hand look at what happened when I started challenging people. Over the last year-and-a-half, I don’t think that’s any secret,” Breer said of his absence at Patriots press conferences. “I don’t think they can stop me now. I don’t know. We’ll talk about all of that.”
And because of his removal from the Patriots beat, Breer had to travel across the country for NFL Network/NFL Media putting a strain on his family life as he lives outside Boston. Now that he’ll be working for MMQB, Breer is hopeful that he won’t have to travel as much and be able to report independently without having to answer to the league.
Breer was quite candid about his time in working for NFL Network, but as a trained journalist wanting to have the ability to write and report freely, he found his experience quite frustrating. Breer is expected to join MMQB in May and could also find work with a TV outlet to compliment his SI gig.