NFL making coaches film available to the public

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The NFL’s effort to grow the proverbial pie finally has invaded the Holy Grail of football footage.

Starting in 2012, the online NFL’s Game Rewind feature will include access to the mysterious and secretive “All-22” coaches film.

Spotted by the folks at Deadspin, it’s a nonchalantly-added wrinkle to the one-penny-less-than-$70 package. Anyone who buys Game Rewind will be able to view, among other things, “Coaches Film for every play in 2012.”

And so no longer will a would-be Jaworski have to take a job with the league to see the thing that so many of the folks who get to see it (including Jaworski) speak about in snobbish and/or condescending fashion.  Anyone/everyone can examine the end-zone-only images of every player on the field, along with everything else the Game Rewind feature has to offer, for only $69.99 a year.

Frankly, the league could charge much more than $69.99 for access to the coaches film alone, and virtually everyone in the media would buy it.  Instead, the league hopes to maximize the total number of folks who purchase the package by making the All-22 film available as part of a broader collection of video with a very affordable price.

The move surely didn’t come without a fight.  As Deadspin points out, an item last year from the Wall Street Journal explains that former Redskins and Texans G.M. Charley Casserly was opposed to disclosing the footage.  “[H]e voted against releasing All-22 footage because he worried that if fans had access, it would open players and teams up to a level of criticism far beyond the current hum of talk radio,” Reed Albergotti of “the Wall“wv wrote.  “Casserly believed fans would jump to conclusions after watching one or two games in the All 22, without knowing the full story.”

It’s a valid point.  Even with unfettered access to an unobstructed view of every player, it remains impossible to know whether a player made a mistake on a given play without knowing his specific assignment, which has been the Achilles heel of any and all efforts to grade players based on watching the televised broadcast of games.  Although the assignment often can be inferred from the assignments executed by other players, who’s to stay the other players weren’t the ones who screwed up?
That simple dynamic makes it impossible for anyone other than the coaches of the players on the tape to know whether the players actually did — or didn’t — do their jobs.  But when it comes to the media types whose jobs it has been to review and interpret video that no one in the audience could scrutinize themselves, we’ll now have a vehicle for figuring out whether the media types did — or didn’t — do their jobs, too.

26 responses to “NFL making coaches film available to the public

  1. Good point. I think it’s good that this info will be available, but a lot of uninformed opinions are going to be cast without knowing the called play.

  2. This surprises me.

    As an add-on to an existing $60/year package, it is hard to believe that enough incremental revenue would be generated by this offering to have made it a purely economic decision.

    Makes me wonder if some other factors might have contributed to this change of position by the powers that be.

    Regardless, this is great news for people who are serious about dissecting the teams/games.

    Now we just all need about another 30 to 40 hours in a given week to make use of it!

  3. How is Casserly’s point valid? Better not show the entire product because we can be criticized? Let’s black out entire season then.
    Anybody willing to shell out $60 on the coaches tape is aware of the nature of the game: there are mistakes made by the coaches and players all the time.

  4. Boo friggin hoo! Players will be opened up to more criticism… Waaaaaa! Give me a break. For what most of those guys make per game how bout if they grow some thicker skin Charley

  5. Sign me!!!!
    It’s about freakin’ time..Casserly’s comment is the perfect example of the “dumbing down of America”. If you want informed fans to truly appreciate the game of football, make the All-22 footage available.

    Watching the game at home as opposed to the stadium has always been the narrow field of view Achilles heal that the networks insist upon. Fox Network first debut the XFL and presented a unique camera angle that was behind the QB similar to Madden football. Unfortunately, the camera angle reverted back to traditional sideline view that is useless for the avid fan.

  6. This is, in my opinion, simply amazing. Personally I would be willing to pay more than the price they are talking about. For any extreme football fan, for anyone who studies the game, this is a must have. I cannot wait to purchase this, and spend any free time staying the film. Its about time, and I love the people responsible for getting this out there.

  7. Just watching the coach’s film won’t turn you into the next Mayock or Cosell. You have to jam a pocket protector up your ass to acquire the Mayock look, or drink formeldehyde on a regular basis in order to mimic Cosell’s rambling, unintelligible, philosophical tangents. It’s not as easy as it looks.

  8. Why? So Joe blow can PRETEND he’s Bill Belicik? You know–the same dopes who don’t spend hours a day organizing,evaluating and knowing that the player who “sucks” is thousands of times more talented than the couch potato who thinks his fat butt can do it better. I wonder how a mailman would feel if somebody followed him around and critiqued how he put letters in the box. We all know that is as tough as passing a football into the 49ers defense while P. Willis is trying hit you with the force of a pickup truck moving at 30 mph.

  9. mlmike25 says:
    Jun 15, 2012 4:42 PM
    Good point. I think it’s good that this info will be available, but a lot of uninformed opinions are going to be cast without knowing the called play.

    Welcome to the world of sports. Football is the only one I can think of where half the action is off the screen on literally every play.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a game. If they can’t handle criticism from fans, then they shouldn’t handle our money, either.

  10. @greymatterstats

    Between Canada and the USA there are over 400 million people.

    If 1% (4,000,000) of that population spend the $69.99 that would result in $280 MILLION in extra revenue.

    With the multimedia infrastructure the NFL already has in place I cant see this adding a lot of costs on their end, so they are making out like bandits.

    For what its worth I think they will get more than 1%, and thats only taking Canada & USA into account.

    This could be a bloody windfall for the owners.

  11. Oh, no! Fans will “jump to conclusions after watching one or two games in the All 22, without knowing the full story.”

    Or as the first comment states, “uninformed opinions will be cast …”

    We can’t have that because it’s NEVER happened in the history of sports! Every fan I listen to on sports talk radio and on television seems to be so level-headed and understanding about everything they watch. This would create a dangerous world!

  12. It’s a good thing, but I can’t wait for all the uninformed ranting that will be going on around here during the season!! Might as well watch tape of your surgery after the fact to critique your surgeons technique and knowledge of anatomy. It’s comical really, for 98% of fans.

  13. While I agree there will be a lot of typical fans trying to blog, and vlog about the games and the game tape, anyone who has knowledge of the game will understand how to use the All-22 film. I’m sure out of the people reading this article there are some HS football coaches, maybe even some college level coaches who can study the game from a professional stand point. It’s a good learning tool for some, and false sense of knowledge for others. Every week there are thousands, if not millions of people blogging about the sport, who only know the basic info, and have no knowledge of schemes, offensive or defensive alignments, gaps etc. I know people who claim to know everything, but don’t know the difference between a 1 technique or a 5 technique. Or who would be classified as an xyz or h receiver etc. Those who know these things and under stand the roles of each position and technique will have a better understanding and have more educated assumptions of what is going on in each play.

  14. As someone who played a little college football, I don’t think a lot of fans know how boring coaches film is. The people who get this should get another job or hobby.

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