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Bengals join the iPad playbook movement

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The folks at Dunder Mifflin have moved another step toward irrelevance.

The Cincinnati Bengals, widely regarded as one of NFL franchises most extremely careful with money (is there a limit on how many times the same YouTube clip can be linked in one day?), no longer will be spending that money on paper for playbooks.  Instead, owner Mike Brown has broken open his change purse for 110 iPads, reports Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Reedy writes that executive V.P. Katie Blackburn, Brown’s daughter, proposed the move last year.  Coach Marvin Lewis opted to wait, in part due to the lockout.  He’s now a believer.

“For a guy to watch what they’re watching on the screen clearly [and] watch in front of them, too, if they want and be able to take notes on it, it’s very user-friendly,” Lewis said.

From the purchase of the units to the upgrades to the in-house computer infrastructure, the project cost the Bengals “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”  But there can be no dispute it will make the overall process more efficient.  The iPads also allow almost immediate access to game film and practice video, which remotely can be sent to the devices.  Game plans for the coming week no longer need to be manually prepared, with copies collated and distributed on Tuesday.

And each iPad can be erased remotely as well, quickly and easily.

“It is more secure than the old playbooks,” Bengals IT consultant Geoff Smith said.  “If a player was disgruntled they could go to Kinko’s and make 100 copies and send it to everyone.  They can’t do that with this.”

No, but they can take a picture of it and post it on the Internet, whether disgruntled or, um, gruntled.

Still, the fact that the low-tech, bottom-line-obsessed Bengals have embraced the process means three things:  (1) the Bengals are now committed to winning; (2) if it wasn’t well worth the money, the Bengals surely wouldn’t be doing it; and (3) there’s no excuse for anyone in the Bengals organization (or the rest of you who have an iPad) to not download the NBC SportsTalk app, which features all PFT content.

Yeah.  It’s a crummy commercial.  (“Sonofabitch.”)

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35 Responses to “Bengals join the iPad playbook movement”
  1. joetoronto says: Jun 15, 2012 10:19 AM

    Knowing how cheap Mike Brown is, he probably bought knock offs, “ePads”?

    Seriously, great move by one of the cheapest bastards the world has ever known.

  2. tenotnamedmiller says: Jun 15, 2012 10:20 AM

    Brown went hi-tech. 2008 style. Refurbished iPads first generation.

  3. marvsleezy says: Jun 15, 2012 10:35 AM

    Sorry but I would still go with a Mac Book Pro, or Mac Book Air. I want the key board if im taking notes, plus a bigger screen.

  4. EJ says: Jun 15, 2012 10:35 AM

    The Ipad Playbook is a great idea, especially since they are able to remotely disable and or erase the programs. IMO, this is something that every team throughout the NFL should move on to. Besides, It must save a whole lot of trees.

  5. trybe29dr says: Jun 15, 2012 10:35 AM

    What if a player gets cut? No one is afraid of players taking screenshots and idk…emailing themselves a copy and taking it to a defensive coordinator of another team if they get cut? Yea its a lot of work but theres literally nothing stopping anyone from doing that

  6. frzerbowlsurvivor says: Jun 15, 2012 10:36 AM

    Over the last 20+ years I have been justifiably quick in ripping on Mike Brown. It was easy and warranted. I am not sure if we have time warped or if it is sun spots, but just another move that has me scratching my head…. “well done” Mike Brown. There, I said it.

  7. chrisritch93 says: Jun 15, 2012 10:37 AM

    Next scandal , team accused of hacking into opponents Ipad’s for game plan & playbook

  8. Kaz says: Jun 15, 2012 10:37 AM

    The Bengals are up to date with a lot of things moreso than many teams in the league that the media tends to ignore. Less than half of the teams in the league has been to the playoffs or won a division title 2 out of the last 3 years for example. But the media keeps taking shots at the Bengals. Many other teams would love to have been to the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years or even 3 out of the last 6. But no one says a peep about them. Granted we still have to get over the hump and win a game, but we’ve gotten there more often than other “favorites” the last 6 years.

    It’s the perception that they are cheap, criminals, not active in free agency etc. that is old and outdated. If the media would give up their old jokes about the Bengals, they wouldn’t have to try to clean things up when facts (like the Vike’s leading the league in arrest, or Bengals a head of the curve with the Ipod playbooks) come out that don’t go along with their old outdated narrative.

  9. snowpea84 says: Jun 15, 2012 10:43 AM

    See, the players were right. The owners are making tons of money. …. I say they go on strike again.

  10. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jun 15, 2012 10:59 AM

    @trybe29dr

    Usually these iPads are set up with specialized security settings so that they cannot really do much of anything, even e-mail is locked up and if they try to get around it then the team will know.

    They pretty much only do want the team wants them to do.

  11. pooflingingmonkey says: Jun 15, 2012 11:07 AM

    This is definately a sign of progress. In the 1990′s, Bengals players kept notes using a Big Chief tablet and a #2 pencil.

  12. richkotitte says: Jun 15, 2012 11:07 AM

    Is it true that Arizona is next and they’re changing their name to the Arizona Angry Birds?

    You gotta admit there are marketing opportunities there!

  13. sellout3871 says: Jun 15, 2012 11:11 AM

    I think Mike Brown owes every Bengals fan a free ipad for putting up with 20+ years of losing football…
    On a seirous note, this is yet another step in the right direction for the Bengals!

  14. cincyorangenblack says: Jun 15, 2012 11:15 AM

    In regards to EJ’ s comment

    It does save tons of paper/trees. Per the article on bengals website, it will save over half a million pieces of paper, and roughly 30-50 ‘forest sized trees’ per year.

  15. cereal blogger says: Jun 15, 2012 11:21 AM

    I guess they can do that now given OchoCinco is no longer there & doesnt have to learn how to use one…..

  16. pskotte says: Jun 15, 2012 11:23 AM

    Another sign of the approaching apocalypse. Aliens kidnapped Mike Brown and replaced him with a smart clone.

  17. fearthebengaltiger says: Jun 15, 2012 11:24 AM

    alright, where is this mike brown that i grew up to loathe all my life, and who is this awesome imposter running this team?

  18. awdlmd says: Jun 15, 2012 11:34 AM

    For any other professional sports franchise, purchasing needed equipment wouldn’t be news.

  19. deertay says: Jun 15, 2012 11:37 AM

    Wow ! Another NFL team catching up with the NCAA.

  20. zerophocus says: Jun 15, 2012 11:37 AM

    Kaz says:
    Jun 15, 2012 10:37 AM
    The Bengals are up to date with a lot of things moreso than many teams in the league that the media tends to ignore. Less than half of the teams in the league has been to the playoffs or won a division title 2 out of the last 3 years for example.

    _______________________________

    Probably because in the AFC North 75% of the teams of accomplished that feat. The Ravens have gone all three years and went to the AFC Championship game twice. The Steelers went to the Superbowl in that time frame.

    The only thing the Bengals have done is lose every playoff game they’ve been in since their loss in 1991, which by the way was only three total playoff games.

    I’m not saying they are the laughing stock everyone says they are, but it is going to take more than going one-and-done in the playoffs to make anyone notice in their division.

  21. samoanjungle says: Jun 15, 2012 11:41 AM

    Lets not jump on the Mike Brown Bandwagon. He deserves credit for FINALLY allowing others to make decisions, that is about it.

  22. ike1973 says: Jun 15, 2012 11:58 AM

    ipads are easy to hack and are not the most secure of devices. It’s only a matter of time before one gets into the wrong hands. Should have went with blackberry. They’re so secure that even Obama uses one.

  23. jrich4210 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:04 PM

    Mr. Brown is starting to listen to his daughter, Katie. She is a smart lady who will soon take over this team. I believe she is the force behind the changes being made.

  24. steelcityrapist says: Jun 15, 2012 12:07 PM

    JOETORONTO IS A LOSER!

  25. sellout3871 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:08 PM

    deertay says:Jun 15, 2012 11:37 AM

    Wow ! Another NFL team catching up with the NCAA.

    __________________________________

    Maybe the NCAA can afford to do this because THEY DON’T PAY THEIR PLAYERS. Just a thought.

  26. JaminJake says: Jun 15, 2012 12:26 PM

    trybe29dr says:
    Jun 15, 2012 10:35 AM
    What if a player gets cut? No one is afraid of players taking screenshots and idk…emailing themselves a copy and taking it to a defensive coordinator of another team if they get cut? Yea its a lot of work but theres literally nothing stopping anyone from doing that

    ___________________________

    That requires more work than photocopying the book. If anything, it makes it less likely to have it distributed by a disgruntled player.

  27. quizguy66 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:36 PM

    I didn’t realize that they made a coin-operated ipad :)

    Seriously, though good move by my Bengals :)

    -QG

  28. timtheenchanter1 says: Jun 15, 2012 12:50 PM

    It doesn’t mean “the Bengals are now committed to winning.”

    It just means someone showed them that it would cost less over time.

  29. fngs1 says: Jun 15, 2012 1:17 PM

    trybe29dr says: Jun 15, 2012 10:35 AM

    What if a player gets cut? No one is afraid of players taking screenshots and idk…emailing themselves a copy and taking it to a defensive coordinator of another team if they get cut? Yea its a lot of work but theres literally nothing stopping anyone from doing that

    ——————————————————
    I bet it gets erased before the player knows he is cut, or in Mike B case that will be how the player finds out that he is cut.

  30. phinfan says: Jun 15, 2012 1:19 PM

    as a webdesigner I think this is a great move toward technology that makes sense. However I have to admit it would be interesting if the Evil teams hire spyhackers to hack this stuff via WiFi. So I hope the app has some serious encryption.

  31. joemammy says: Jun 15, 2012 1:56 PM

    If its an IPad, why does it say Fisher-Price on the back?

  32. vincentbojackson says: Jun 15, 2012 2:41 PM

    Mike Brown figured out that 110 iPads was a lot cheaper than building an NFL caliber practice facility.

    The guys will have those iPads to keep them warm when their practicing outside in the snow in December.

  33. stavreafavre says: Jun 15, 2012 3:46 PM

    In other news, the New England Patriots announced a new organization position, Director of Electronic Information Acquisition. Several former WikiLeaks employees have reportedly interviewed for the post.

  34. tdk24 says: Jun 15, 2012 3:54 PM

    Mike Brown handed out the ipad’s to the players and said “men, this is what we will put our playbook on. now, if anyone in the organization has a playbook, please put it in these here thingies.”

  35. awdlmd says: Jun 15, 2012 4:00 PM

    “Maybe the NCAA can afford to do this because THEY DON’T PAY THEIR PLAYERS. Just a thought.”

    Neither do the Bengals.

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