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Teams ensure iPad playbook are safe and secure

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Given the recent disclosure (which many of us already assumed) that in post-9/11 America the government can and does monitor a lot of the stuff we do, the secrecy-obsessed NFL has even more reason to ensure that its confidential information is secure.

Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com addresses the steps teams take to protect the extensive data distributed to players on an iPad.

With, as Marvez explains, the recent adoption of the iPad playbook by the Chiefs and Jaguars and in light of a report from the Associated Press that 14 teams had adopted the technology as of the 2012 season, half the league has now ditched paper for a hand-held device that makes a wide variety of stuff instantly available to players.

“Our security is very strong,” a Chiefs spokesman told Marvez. “The iPads will be managed by a mobile device management console along with multifactor level security.”

The measures commonly used include the ability to wipe the iPad clean remotely and the selection of predetermined moments at which the information disappears.  This makes the iPad dramatically more secure than a paper playbook, which can be copied, lost, or stolen.  In 2005, for example, former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams incurred the wrath of Saban when Williams lost his playbook during a preseason road trip to Pittsburgh.

This doesn’t mean teams won’t at least try to come up with ways to access the information.  Football routinely incorporate military principles and mindsets, compelling coaches like Bill Belichick to always say as little as possible for fear of divulging too much to the opposition.  It’s understandable, then, that some teams will be looking and listening and hoping for whatever edge they can get, even if it means hacking iPads.

Concerns over security should be a secondary worry for teams that use iPads, however.  Having playbooks and film and other useful information readily available to a player doesn’t mean a player will actually use it.  For some coaches, having the player in the building watching film is far better than having him supposedly studying film amid the many distractions that go with being at home.

Maybe the next wave in the development of iPad technology for teams obsessed with other teams monitoring the devices is coming up with a way to monitor the devices to determine that, indeed, the players are putting in the time necessary to digest the information contained on them.

So, basically, NFL players who have iPads at some point should assume that the coach is watching you while you are watching film.

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13 Responses to “Teams ensure iPad playbook are safe and secure”
  1. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 13, 2013 9:34 AM

    I wonder how many players use “password” as their password?

  2. abninf says: Jun 13, 2013 9:37 AM

    Who is the president’s favorite team? The Bears? I predict they will win the Superbowl.

  3. blacknole08 says: Jun 13, 2013 9:49 AM

    Ipad are too distracting in general. With the social media obsession players have more chances to get into trouble saying stupid stuff on twitter. I wouldn’t want rookies on my team learning their playbook this way.

    I say ditch the Ipads at home and go into the film room/practice field. A more hands on approach with a coach seems like the best way to really learn the ins and outs of the playbook.

  4. jimmyt says: Jun 13, 2013 9:53 AM

    Funny you shouls mention Bill Belichick in an article dealing with the possibilty of a team stealing data from other teams. Funny but appropriate.

  5. thesteelers says: Jun 13, 2013 10:05 AM

    The Hoody is nervous.

  6. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jun 13, 2013 10:07 AM

    “Maybe the next wave in the development of iPad technology for teams obsessed with other teams monitoring the devices is coming up with a way to monitor the devices to determine that, indeed, the players are putting in the time necessary to digest the information contained on them.”

    You seriously don’t think there are teams that are already doing this?

  7. larrydavid7000 says: Jun 13, 2013 10:20 AM

    I will have no problem hacking into these I pods and stealing every play from all 32 teams. That’s how I plan to spend my summer.

  8. whitdog23 says: Jun 13, 2013 10:22 AM

    how can you be a sports fan and think Superbowl is correct? that’s embarrasing

  9. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jun 13, 2013 10:28 AM

    “Ipad are too distracting in general. With the social media obsession players have more chances to get into trouble saying stupid stuff on twitter. I wouldn’t want rookies on my team learning their playbook this way.”

    Usually these iPads are modified so they cannot access any of the social media. They are not really able to do much of anything besides what the team wants them to do. It really is just a high tech playbook that they have more control over.

  10. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 13, 2013 11:25 AM

    Doesn’t this encourage players to play Fruit Ninja rather than studying their playbook?

  11. pilot2011 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:35 AM

    I’d be more worried about crooked politicians getting their dirty paws on the playbooks

  12. trollhammer20 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:59 AM

    The really funny thing about iPads and the NFL is the NFL made a deal with Microsoft recently that made Surface the official computing device and the new Xbox One the official entertainment device of the NFL.

    As part of this deal, teams are now allowed to use computing devices on the sidelines during games, provided, of course, that they’re Microsoft products like Surface.

    Imagine it’s week one, and you just found out your electronic playbook is incompatible with the NFL’s standards because you’re set up on the wrong OS….

  13. dtr3e says: Jun 13, 2013 12:02 PM

    I consider that a challenge

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