Buccaneers embrace virtual reality trend

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The Buccaneers had been looking for someone to provide a virtual reality training product to assist with the development of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. They’ve found one.

The team has announced a deal with EON Sports VR to use the SIDEKIQ software developed by “as a supplement to their on-field work for quarterbacks when the team reports back for training camp beginning on August 1.”

“We are excited to be coming in on the front end of this new wave of technology that is designed to supplement the on-field and classroom work that our quarterbacks are already doing,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht.  “Obviously, there is no real substitute for being on the field when it comes to getting our players ready for game action. However, this virtual reality technology allows us to enhance the learning experience for our quarterbacks without requiring them to put in additional time on the practice fields.”

“Virtual reality has become very popular in high school and college programs and there has recently been much more interest in the technology from professional sports teams looking to add to their teaching tools while limiting exposure to injuries that may occur in live-action situations,” said EON Sports VR CEO Brendan Reilly, who was a guest recently on PFT Live. “We are excited to get to work with the Buccaneers and provide their quarterbacks with the opportunity to train more efficiently than ever before.”

Last month, the Cowboys became the first NFL team to adopt virtual reality training, with a competing product from STRIVR labs.

And so it’s just a matter of time before one of these companies forks over a huge pile of money to become the official (and exclusive) virtual reality sponsor of the NFL, presumably when the technology is developed into a game that can be played at home — and re-booted every year to get people to buy millions and millions more copies of it.

47 responses to “Buccaneers embrace virtual reality trend

  1. They tried this with JaMarcus Russell, but a programmer accidentally replaced all the defensive players with cheeseburgers.

  2. “Hey, Buccaneers! How did you guys do in your first virtual reality football game?”

    “We lost.”

    “Really? Was the defense AI really that tough?”

    “…defense?”

  3. Virtual reality? LOL! Maybe they’re not the worst team in the league in their little fantasy land. Think I’d probably just give up and go play Madden too.

  4. The tech is not there yet to translate results to the field….. Impossible to replace the tactile experience of “doing it” with the tech available so far.

    Waste of money on what amounts to a flashy toy for rich people.

  5. abninf says:
    Jul 20, 2015 11:51 AM
    As usual, everyone follows the lead of The Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team.

    ————————————-

    Even in virtual reality, the refs made the correct call on the Dez non-catch.

  6. abninf says:
    Jul 20, 2015 11:51 AM
    As usual, everyone follows the lead of The Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team.

    ——————————

    Right! Because every other NFL team wants to mimic the success of a franchise with one playoff win over the last 19 seasons.

  7. “Everyone will be on board eventually. Those who start now should have an advantage.”

    Like the folks who knew MS-Dos have such an advantage now.

  8. that’s a good one “as usual everyone follows the cowboys, if you mean everyone you mean one of the worst teams in the league then your right. Funny when i read the headline I thought, it is always the bad teams that are the “ground breakers” on this stuff and then I seen the cowboys are doing it I it proved me right

  9. richc111 says:
    Jul 20, 2015 12:23 PM
    that’s a good one “as usual everyone follows the cowboys, if you mean everyone you mean one of the worst teams in the league then your right. Funny when i read the headline I thought, it is always the bad teams that are the “ground breakers” on this stuff and then I seen the cowboys are doing it I it proved me right

    Cowboys might not be SB champs but you are a little whiney when you say one of the worst teams. If you said one of the most average I couldn’t argue. But if you are going to come out of your mothers basement and make a comment make sure she reads it for accuracy.

  10. …and re-booted every year to get people to buy millions and millions more copies of it.

    ————————————

    Just what we need – full price, mediocre releases of “VR Madden” every year with slight changes from the previous version. Keep up the good work, EA!

  11. Easy to take shots at the Bucs and Cowboys for this, but I don’t see how it can hurt.

    One way I can see it working is for the QB to examine defensive alignments and what they look like from an “on the field view”. A virtual reality equivalent of studying film.

    If it ends up helping a player make a few decisions on field a little bit faster than they otherwise would it could be the difference between winning a game and losing one.

    Of course that also assumes the programmers have done a good job on programming the defensive looks.

  12. “Eagles and Jets will love it they can be Virtual SB champs”

    Both teams already win pre-season every year.

  13. Must..resist…low hanging fruit

    Between it being about the Bucs and then the Cowgirls guy’s post the comic responses could just write themselves

  14. There are guys that need to get on-field game, not practise, reps in order to develop — Kurt Warner comes to mind — even if the reps aren’t NFL quality.

    VR won’t turn every prospect into an All Pro QB. But there will be a significant number of diamonds in the rough who blossom with it, who otherwise would have been out of the league in a couple of years.

  15. abninf says:

    As usual, everyone follows the lead of The Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team.

    The article alludes to the Cowboys following the lead of high schools and colleges which explains why they’ve played like them for the better part of the last two decades.

  16. I hear in the VR version you can bypass their current uniforms for their much-better old ones.

  17. Eventually, quarterbacks will be trained in a halographic practice facility. You can dial up certain defenses and offensive scheme.

  18. I had a chance to try the system out recently, and it’s pretty damned good. The opposing players look a little cartoonish, but you’re viewing the field from the QB’s point of view. From what the tech guys were telling me, the feedback they got from real players was that it’s easier to practice plays mentally and “make the throws” when you can see what’s on the screen. It’s much different than just studying Xs and Os on a piece of paper or the new technology on ipads where the Xs and Os actually move.

    Of course, VR can’t replace being on the field with actual people, but with the limited practices this is a pretty good replacement.

  19. Apparently our species hasn’t been able to overcome it’s compulsion to first reach for “the low hanging fruit” since we came down from the trees. No matter how much the variables change, the axioms themselves remain the same. In this constantly changing world, it’s good to know some things will never change.

  20. There are really no redeeming qualities of the bucs organization.

    Keep in mind they fired Jon gruden and replaced him with Raheem Morris.

    Just a bad organization from top to bottom.

  21. Playing Madden is the closest the Bucs will ever get to the SB with Jamarc… I mean Jameis Winston. After this year Lovie will be fired and the new regime will want their own guy.

  22. Wow, ignorance is abundant in this comment section. The Buccaneers try to do something cutting edge to improve their organization and help their newly minted franchise quarterback and what do we get, a bunch of “terrible organization” and “oh maybe they’ll win in virtual reality” nonsense.

    When the Bucs rise from the depths (and they will under Jameis), teams will be scrambling to join both Tampa Bay and Dallas in adopting this.

    Haters will go away.

  23. I’m not a Bucs fan, but if you have trouble seeing how good Winston will be for the organization…you should quit watching football all together. Winston is going to be fine.

  24. It would be a great teaching tool for new players. Give them the playbook and a set of VR headgear. They can study the plays and see what they look like live through VR.

  25. Cutting edge? Yup. And for the New England Patriots and their fans, guess what? This is a legal way to try and get a competitive advantage. You all should try it.

  26. Jameis Winston has been lauded as being first in, and last out of practice, and already has the playbook down, so we here. Good on him, and good of new OC Dirk Koetter. Looks like the brain power and will is there. So this can only help more. 10 days until the first public practice…Go Bucs!

  27. Great the Bucs are getting “virtual reality” for Jameis. Now, for us season ticket holders and our stadium, how about the Bucs, Tampa Sports Authority, Hillsborough County, and the City of Tampa get your act together on a more-than-virtual update to our stadium’s sound system and video boards. Another year of this and the RayJay will be worse than QUALCOMM Stadium.

  28. Level complete
    Scoring Summary – J. Winston:

    Crab Legs + 100 points
    Interception – 500 points
    Rushing TD + 1000 points
    Completions: 4-12 -700 points

    Total: -100 points

    Please “Yes” to continue, “No” to quit.

  29. It would appear everything Winston says or does now is being controlled by the Bucs PR dept and Brooks.

    Why not wait and see if he can play in the NFL without a ton of interceptions with no OL and running game, before he is anointed as a player.

    Going to be tough having to run for his life every play.

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