The Packers are using GPS monitoring in hopes of reducing injury risk for some of their players, but they aren’t the only team investigating new technologies this offseason.
The Steelers have started using an HD helmet camera system called SchuttVision to offer coaches a chance to see what players are seeing while they are on the field. The technology was unveiled in January and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown have been the first two players to wear it during practice sessions. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said that the team is still figuring out how to make the best use of the information gleaned from the tape.
“You can identify the fronts and when we are pointing out [middle linebackers] and stuff like that because usually the eyes are looking where he’s pointing,” Haley said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You can see the direction the head is at the snap. It’s interesting technology. It’s a neat concept. We haven’t done a whole bunch with it, but the technology is phenomenal. If not for anything else, it forces the player that has it on to be on his P’s and Q’s.”
Quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner thinks it could be a useful teaching tool for backup quarterbacks to see the field through Roethlisberger’s eyes, but, as Haley said, the team is just starting to sort through the applications of the technology. Other teams — there are 33 at the pro and college level using SchuttVision in some manner — will be doing the same thing as they try to optimize every minute of practice time. Those that find those ways the fastest should give themselves an advantage for at least as long as it takes for the next technological advance to change the field again.