As competitors still struggle to sell tablets that aren’t iPads (ridiculous firesales aside), Apple’s iPad continues to make inroads into all sorts of interesting places. Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed a number of airlines are turning to the iPad as a means to digitize the cockpit and do away with absolute mountains of paper. Looking to attain a similar goal, the iPad has managed to sneak into the locker room of an NFL team.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are saying goodbye to the horribly bulky and dense playbooks given to players during the pre-season. If anyone reading this has ever watched HBO’s Hard Knocks, you’ve undoubtedly seen the mammoth sized binders players are forced to carry around and often times memorize.
In their place, the team is turning to Apple’s iPad and recently gave all 90 of their players iPad 2s replete with playbook information along with video clips of practice and situational gameplay footage from all the other 31 NFL teams.
In addition to saying goodbye to huge binders that often rivaled the Yellow Pages in size, the iPad 2s will also enable players to spend less time in the film room watching tape and more time watching tape in, perhaps, a more comfortable environment.
“It’s crazy how much technology has changed the game,” second-year safety Cody Grimm said. “Back in the day, I think probably the whole team had to sit down with a projector and a reel, and watch the film together. They’d have the whole offense in the same meeting room. Now we all have our own iPad. Stuff that we used to come in here to see, we can sit on our couch at home and have access to it 24-7. It’s awesome.
“It’s convenient. It’s fast. I was snacking out on the couch and watching some film, and realized I was, like, two quarters through (a) game already.”
Convenience aside, video on the iPad will also make film study a more efficient process for players.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris explains that video footage on DVD forces players to rely on their remote to fast forward or rewind to a specific play in what can often be a tedious process. The iPad, however, lets players quickly flick through plays that aren’t applicable to them.
“I just touch it and get out of there and go here, and there’s third down,” Morris said. “Get out of there, and let’s go to the red zone. Okay, there’s the nickel. It’s a different deal now.”
It’s also worth mentioning the security advantage that comes along with using the iPad. Previously, the Bucs would collect their playbooks before the end of training camp to prevent them from winding up on the Internet. Now, with the iPads, it doesn’t even matter if a player loses the device because the team can perform a remote wipe and protect its valuable playbook.