The NFL’s embrace of tablet technology has been limited, to date. Soon, the bright blue Microsoft Surface devices that show up on sidelines could do more than simply show images of pre-snap formations.
At a Tuesday press conference, NFL executive V.P. Brian Rolapp said that the league will consider allowing players and coaches to view video generated during a given game. Rolapp explained that preseason and Pro Bowl testing has allowed the league to determine that, technologically, it can be done.
Whether the league can permit coaches and players to view video is a different question from whether it should.
“Let’s make sure that whatever we do, that the focus is still the human competition,” Rolapp said after the event, via the Associated Press. “We don’t want it to replace the human competition because that’s what people still want to watch.”
Before video could be used during games, at least 24 owners would have to approve of the change to the rules.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees explained that video was useful during a Pro Bowl game in which he noticed something on a pass route run by receiver Antonio Brown. Brees suggested a tweak to the pattern the next time the play was called, Brown made the adjustment, and the play resulted in a touchdown.
“Without the video I wouldn’t have been able to see that and communicate it with him,” Brees said. “Obviously that directly affected the performance of what we were able to accomplish.”
Paul Burmeister of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk caught up with Brees following the event. The video can be seen below.