Friday, October 21, 2011

Baltimore Ravens Are Second Team To Switch Their Playbook To iPads

As discussed by this blog several weeks ago, the NFL is finally breaking out of some of its old, heavily ingrained traditions.  One of those is the use of paper and very, very thick binders to house the team's playbook.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first team (considering they have the youngest coach in the league in Raheem Morris, it's not surprising) to convert their playbooks to an iPad format, and so far the players have been loving it.

Now the Baltimore Ravens have converted to a digital iPad world, and are able to immediately reap the benefits.  The idea came from Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, and was approved by management when they calculated they could recoup the initial investment of buying 120 iPad2's worth $700 each within two years.

Players are able to jump directly to certain type plays, or certain things on game film that they want to study.  No more rewinding tape, or fast-forwarding a DVD to get to a certain play. It's simply indexed by whatever factors the team want to apply to it, and the player can then study more efficiently.
"Guys carry around these big, old playbooks all the time, and it just seemed crazy," Harbaugh said. "Then you toss them out and we're recycling paper and all that, and we thought, 'What are we doing?' The guys are so savvy now that it's really given us an opportunity to be so much more flexible because we can put video on it, we can put schedules and calendars on it, we can update them in a blink of an eye. We're not handing out paper, and guys aren't leafing through pages in a book. We put motivational stuff on them all the time. So it's just neat. The guys love it."
The Ravens Director of Information Technology, Nick Fusee, said that half the teams in the league have contacted them about the use of the iPads.  He predicts that the majority of NFL teams will switch to iPads in the near future.

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