NFL explains rules for harvesting in-game tablet video

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On Sunday, an item appeared in this space explaining security concerns from the coaching community regarding the seemingly inevitable use of in-game video on the Microsoft Surface tablets that now show up on the sidelines of every NFL game. Later in the day, an email appeared in the PFT inbox from the league office with information aimed at addressing those concerns.

“It is the same video that has fed coaches still photos for years,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “Since the implementation of tablets, those same standard end zone and sideline team camera positions have fed video that is used to create the still images. The preseason video tests, and any implementation of video full time, would only allow video to be used that is shot from those standard team shooting locations and fed directly into the existing still photo tablet infrastructure. Use of any video outside of the approved infrastructure and tablets would still be prohibited.”

So, basically, teams would be getting the same game film during the game that they would be getting after the game.

“Each team has a member of their staff shooting from each location,” McCarthy said. “Sideline shooting location has someone from team A shooting with someone from team B. Same for the end zone.”

Even before the arrival of tablets, teams were obtaining still frames from the cameras used to shoot game film and allowing photos taken by those cameras to be printed in the coaching booth and at field level for inspection during games. Those same cameras would be generating the game film that would be studied on tablets during games.

That won’t address all concerns regarding the use of game film during a given game, but it should help coaches who are generally skittish about the issue feel a little bit better (or a little less worse) about the near-certain arrival of in-game sideline tablet video.

25 responses to “NFL explains rules for harvesting in-game tablet video

  1. Giving the Patriots plenty of time to figure out a way to use this to their advantage. Not cheating but just over the line they get a hand slap warning.

  2. What? Wait a minute, you can still video from the endzones and sidelines like the Pats were in Framegate1? And now Roger wants every team to review said video DURING the game, which in 2007 Roger felt was the crime of the century (and which was actually against the 2007 rule but their was never any evidence that the Pats did that and their film was confiscated in the 1st quater of the first game anyway). Nice 180 Roger, no irony at all…

  3. When Bill Belichick retires, I hope the NFL hires him as a security consultant. They could make a movie, Tom Hanks as Roger Goodell and Leonardo DiCaprio as Coach Belichick.

  4. So can someone who is not a Patriots fan explain what “Spygate” was and why the Patriots are cheaters?

    We have Belicheck owning up to having a camera man film from a banned location during a game, something that was allowed until the NFL banned it that season. Then you have Goodell “destroying” the tapes without explaining why, which has led the media and all the Anti-Patriots fans to speculate what was in those tapes.

    The Patriots continue winning, and everyone claims they cheat. All from bias created from the NFL not explaining what happened in “Spygate”, only directing the story that the tapes were destroyed.

    And then every team that loses to them will call out cheating. Filming SB practices? Came out as a fake story and debunked yet everyone clings to that story. Headset problems? Happens at other stadiums outside Gillette, yet people claim the Patriots do it to cheat. Bugged locker rooms? Teams are saying they sweep the rooms for it, and have they come up with anything to say they were? No, just headlines. More speculation from teams that can’t beat the Patriots.

    And now the saga that has been going on for the past two years with “deflategate”.

    And all this started from the NFL not making it clear why the Patriots were punished back i 2007. It has led to countless speculation and hated towards a team that has continued success in the league which has breed hatred from teams who can’t beat them and their fans.

    And now we’re talking about instant sideline footage to the NFL’s sponsored paid for sideline tablets.

    What a world we live in.

  5. Patriots are going to use a software video/image capture add I. Software to hide their latest run around the rules

  6. In order for this to work. belichick will be effectively banned from NFL

  7. Basically looking at this in retrospect other coaches because they cannot think like Bill (with Ernie) would rather not have any in game information so they want the commissioner to come down hard when they think the Patriots have the ability to use the information.

    Rather be stupid, good game plan.

  8. dietrich43 says:
    Jun 6, 2016 9:39 AM

    When Bill Belichick retires, I hope the NFL hires him as a security consultant. They could make a movie, Tom Hanks as Roger Goodell and Leonardo DiCaprio as Coach Belichick.

    Any movie that has Roger Goodell in it should have him be played by Mr. Bean.

    And if not him, then at least the guy who debates the Burger King in the commercials.

  9. Before introducing video, that need to address the issue of equity due to technical failures. Right now, if side’s tablets stop working, the other side can continue using them. That’s a minor difference when it’s stills-via-tablets vs. stills-via-binders, but if it’s stills vs. video, that’s an unfair advantage. They need to treat it like headsets, where an outage to one team requires the other team to stop using them as well.

  10. ibillwt says:
    Jun 6, 2016 9:31 AM
    Ernie Adams probably already figured out how to “harvest” opponents tablets and I say good for us.

    Did you even read the article???? Team A and Team B shoot from the same position, meaning they would have the same video… Bill’s fans and their Ernie Adams obsession??? My god, get over it.

  11. At some point during the test after intently studying what he sees on his tablet Rexy will bellow out “Rob!! Who’s this Buffering guy? He is making every damn play! Get somebody on him now!!”

    And then his uncharged tablet will die…

  12. Did they also specify the rules for “harvesting” left clavicles from rookie players to donate to aging QBs?

  13. Isn’t it fascinating that Patriots fans can take EVERY story–I am saying EVERY story–and make it about how they have been victimized? It must be very, very sad to be a Patriots fan and see a conspiracy in every story. Do you understand that paranoia is a form of mental illness? Or do you think that paranoia being considered a form of mental illness is a plot against the Patriots organization?

  14. Don’t coaches in the coaching booth have access to video and replay already? What’s the difference if it’s on a tablet on the field? I bet the purists complained, back in the day, when this new fangled technology allowed coaches to download and print a screen shot of the video to study on the field. Now with the tablets , players can see the play real time or as replays.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they started using those virtual reality helmets soon or rented them to fans to watch from a different player’s point of view.

  15. “Each team has a member of their staff shooting from each location,” McCarthy said.

    Except for the Patriots, who will have cameras everywhere and not just during the games.

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