In Denver, playbooks are out and iPads are in

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The Broncos are phasing out paper playbooks in favor of iPads.

The Denver Post reports that the 500-page playbooks and paper game plans and scouting reports of the past are gone, as this year everything is being handled electronically, with iPads.

Some of the advantages to iPads over paper are obvious: Instead of 11 Xs and 11 Os showing players’ alignments, and arrows showing players’ movements, an iPad can allow players to watch actual game tape of the play in question. But the Broncos think another advantage is that players will spend more of their personal time studying if they can do it more easily.

“The advantage is that when they leave the building, they can take everything home with them very easily and watch tape at night and review the game plan installation,” Broncos G.M. Brian Xanders said. “This is their full-time job — to prepare and do whatever they can to help us win each week.”

NFL players and coaches aren’t allowed to use iPads during games, so the Broncos will still need some playbook printouts to review on the sideline and for halftime adjustments. But the Broncos believe that may change some day. Currently NFL teams review printouts of still photos during games, but eventually they may scroll through those photos on their iPads.

“There was a thought that we’d use tablets and iPads to flip through those pictures, but they have not approved that yet,” Xanders said. “I can see it potentially moving that way.”

Transitioning from paper to tablet is technological progress that the NFL won’t be able to resist forever.

25 responses to “In Denver, playbooks are out and iPads are in

  1. Wait until one of them is hacked. I work in IT Security, and I hope they train recipients to be aware of social engineering. I like the idea from a conceptual standpoint, but if even one of these brainiacs loses their iPad, the whole world will have their playbook within minutes.

  2. What’s the over/under on when the first player leaves theirs behind in a restaurant?

  3. Raheem Morris was the 1st to do this last year with the Bucs. Raheem got hammered for everything else in Tampa so we might as well give him a little credit where it’s due.

  4. I certainly hope they have some lockdown security measures on those things. Just think of how many celebs’ phones are hacked each year.

  5. With security in the NFL being what it is I’m surprised they are using ipads. They’re not exactly the most secure of devices. They should have ditched the playbooks for blackberry playbooks. Just as good as ipads but way more secure. Just ask Obama.

  6. Great call for the Broncos; been using iBooks Author for creating textbooks at work since it was released. (Software to create the books on an iPad). You do have the ability to lock the books to a specific password that must be entered every time the book is opened. These books can also be printed as a PDF for game day use.

    The books do not need to be published into the Apple bookstore either; as there are a variety of other ways you can get them onto an iPad.

  7. I have a harder time studying something on a tablet or a PC. I prefer to hold a book I can flip pages on and I’m sure there are many others like me. My attention span goes to pot when I study a .pdf on a computer instead of reading the physical manual. I end up at places like this instead, which will likely happen to football players who generally have an attention span of a ten-year-old as it is.

  8. Major League Baseball loves this idea so much that they plan to implement it no sooner than 2150.

  9. Folks calm down, it’s Apple. Not only can an iPad be located remotely, it can be wiped clean with the touch of a button remotely.

  10. Also following suit, the Cincinnati Bengals have given each player an IMB Selectric 500, an Apple 2E computer, a ream of index cards and five Bic pens.

  11. …and then the experiment went terribly wrong when the Colts players showed up to their first game weary and unrested after playing Angry Birds all night long…

  12. Read the article from linked to the story. States Broncos are the third team, following Ravens and Bucs with using Ipads. Also, if lost, stolen, or potential security breach, all information can be wiped remotely.

  13. facebook and twitter are very easily hackable via linkage…they should invest in the best technology out there to thwart the social media attacks as well as pre-emptively engage in DLP.
    Websense has products that do all that and more to cover web,data, and email as well as block unwanted/unneccasry site access.

    Also, Pooflingingmonkey….Bengals already use the ipad approach as do many many teams across the leage. d-bag

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