NFL tests "Sideline Viewing System"

The NFL is one to always utilize technology to make the game better and easier. From yellow lines to indicate where the first down is to adding instant replay, the NFL hasn't been afraid to add systems over the years.

The NFL is one to always utilize technology to make the game better and easier. From yellow lines to indicate where the first down is to adding instant replay, the NFL hasn't been afraid to add systems over the years. Now it looks like the NFL is going to not only put playbooks on tablets but live feeds of the game for use on the sidelines.

The new sideline viewing system gained approval of the Competition Committee earlier this year and after some live testing, it could and should eventually replace the old system of looking at photos during the games. Instead of the low resolution black-and-white photos that you see the players looking through on the sidelines in the past, the players will be using fancy new tablets that connect to a secure wireless system. Higher resolution photos in color that allow you to draw directly on them can only help teams better diagnose issues with plays and schemes. Since it is broadcast over a secure wireless connection, players and teams can connect and utilize them immediately instead of waiting for photos to be printed and bound up and dropped off at the sidelines like in years past.

Teams are also permitted to take the tablets to the locker room during halftime. However, the wireless system will be shut off during halftime so that the tablets won't be able to connect and continue to view photos. At that point, the only things that anyone will be able to look at is the notes they saved when viewing during the first half.

For now, the tablets will not be used in lieu of the laminated Denny's menus that are used for playcalling. But if the system works well for the teams, it would be expected that tablets will be used for that purpose as well and undergo a similar testing. As technology gets smaller and stronger, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to have the wrist cards that quarterbacks wear be replaced with screens that allow coaches to send plays to the players on the field.

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