BOSTON (CBS) — Albert Breer has covered the NFL for many years, and he’s a regular guest on the Toucher & Rich program for his analysis on the league. However, his appearance on Friday’s show took on the feeling of a media discussion, in the wake of Breer announcing that he’s leaving the NFL Network for SI’s Monday Morning Quarterback.
Of the things Breer is most looking forward to at his new employer, at the top of the list is the freedom to cover topics that were apparently taboo at the league-run network.
“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. 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 told Toucher & Rich. “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.”
Breer was once a regular stand-in at Bill Belichick’s press conference, as the coach often bristled at just about every question asked by the reporter. So Breer’s absence over the past year-plus has been very noticeable to anyone paying attention.
Though Breer had never really discussed it publicly, he did so on Friday.
“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.”
Breer said the ban — whether official or not — stems from his questions at the famed “on to Cincinnati” press conference, and he said not being able to cover the team close to his home has put a strain on his life.
“Honestly, that whole thing was a challenging thing over the last year-and-a-half, because you guys know I had my first kid on Halloween of 2014, and it’s basically doubled my travel over that period of time, and that hasn’t been easy,” Breer said. “We’re going to work all of that out, and I’m sure at some point I’ll be able to go a little deeper into all of that.”
Listen to the full conversation, which eventually got into the happenings around the NFL leading up to next week’s draft, below: