updated 05:00 pm EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
Previously wasted 500 pages per person, per week
The Denver Broncos are transitioning to iPad playbooks for the new season, says the Denver Post. The NFL team previously printed new paper books each week for all of its 120 staff members, including players, coaches, scouts, and others. Each book measured roughly 500 pages, wasting substantial amounts of money and paper.
Each Broncos iPad contains material such as updated game plans, scouting reports, and video clips. If the team's head coach adds a play, it will in fact be pushed to staff automatically. "The advantage is that when they leave the building, they can take everything home with them very easily and watch tape at night and review the game plan installation," explains the team's general manager, Brian Xanders. "This is their full-time job -- to prepare and do whatever they can to help us win each week."
The NFL is said to be cautious about technology, and is still banning many electronic devices from the sidelines during games, including tablets. This year is in fact the first time the league is allowing devices like iPads in the time between the locker room and kickoff; an earlier rule stated that devices had to be removed 90 minutes prior to gametime. Only two other teams have switched to tablets: the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Post states that the NFL might eventually allow devices on sidelines for tasks such as viewing photos of formations and plays. At the moment, players must still look at printouts.
For the Broncos the iPad expenditure will still not be cheap, since all of purchased units are Verizon 4G models, many of them top-of-the-line 64GB systems costing $829 apiece. 4G access will however be particularly useful for the tablets' PlaeryLync-developed app, which stores playbooks remotely, including previously-inaccessible ones from earlier games. The team will be able to remote-wipe an iPad if necessary, and the app will automatically delete its playbook if a connection is lost after a set amount of time.
Future plans include pushing video to iPads as soon as possible, and even integrating business and player operations.