NFL players and coaches are currently not allowed to use computers, tablets, smart phones or video devices during games. But Saints quarterback Drew Brees thinks it’s coming.
Brees said on Chelsea Lately (yes, I get my football information from Chelsea Lately — what’s it to you?) that he believes the NFL will change its rules to allow players to use tablets on the sideline to watch film of the previous series, rather than the still photos they currently use.
“Probably in the next few years you’re going to see this on the sideline, actually being used to put video on,” Brees said. “You see us quarterbacks on the sideline flipping through pictures now. They have to print those out, staple them together.”
Brees, of course, has a vested interest in this because he’s a paid endorser of Microsoft’s tablet. But he makes a good case that players would benefit from using the technology.
“You’re pulling it up, maybe you’re watching video, ‘We need to attack this guy, this is the adjustment we’re going to make,’ and we’re right back on the field. The way it’s going to change the game, I think, is going to be pretty incredible,” Brees said.
For that to happen, it would require a radical shift in the NFL’s thinking. The NFL has long been cautious about in-game use of technology, which is why even the teams that have shifted from paper playbooks to iPad playbooks are forced to use print-outs during games. NFL coaches still carry clipboards, not tablets, and the league’s old-school owners have shown little interest in changing that.