The idea came during a radio interview this week. The question was: Because of COVID-19, do you expect any changes on the field, like more no huddle?
Here’s my thought: Why not equip every helmet for every player with a speaker?
Every player on offense would get the call from the sideline, without the need for the quarterback to relay the play call in a huddle. The same would happen on defense: With every player getting the call from the defensive coordinator.
That would eliminate the need to huddle, where players cannot, by definition, socially distance.
It is not known whether the NFL and NFLPA have considered this, but both sides surely are looking for every possible safety measure they can implement to keep players safe. There are no guarantees, for obvious reasons in a contact sport, that the league will start and finish a 16-game season as planned, but the more health and safety measures they can take to help, the better chance they have.
As it stands now, only one player on offense and one player on defense can wear the speaker helmet on the field at a time. Helmet speaker technology began in 1994, allowing coaches to talk to quarterbacks through a one-way communication device that shuts off with 15 seconds left on the play clock.
In 2008, the NFL allowed a defensive player to wear a speaker helmet so a coach could communicate directly with a player on the defense.
Now, the NFL needs at least to consider taking it a step further this season.