With iPads, playbooks a new game for Redskins
“You can also simulate certain formations that you might see in practice,” Williams said. “You can line up against that certain formation on your tablet and draw it in versus a certain defense. It makes studying a lot more effective.”
For coaches, having the iPad streamlines the process of making changes.
They don’t have to wait until the Wednesday or Thursday before a Sunday game to introduce a new scheme or game plan. Instead, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and others can make changes almost until the last minute before a meeting.
“We spend a lot of nights putting the game plan in and then we come early in the morning and we have a bunch of adjustments and our quality control guys are scrambling at the last second because whatever adjustments we made, they’ve got to go to the 50 books and pull out that page and put in new pages,” Shanahan said.
“The iPad is pretty nice because I can give them a change 10 seconds before the meeting and they just push ‘update’ and all the players have it updated.”
In meetings, players can follow along more easily and can take notes on the iPad. But some, such as Cooley and fullback Darrel Young, still carry notebooks because they feel it’s more natural and comfortable.
Although there is no proof that iPads speed the process of knowing a playbook, learning specialists have found it has a positive effect.
“There is no team not looking for the best of the best to help their team win and learn better,” Mr. Brown said. “We don’t help anybody win, but we do help people learn better.”
Helping ‘quality of life’
Just from a mental standpoint, players don’t want to trudge to Redskins Park if they want to do some studying, Alexander said. Now it’s possible for them to lie on the couch, watch TV and still review plays.
Being more accessible helps beyond learning plays and being able to check out video.
“Football always has had the rules where you go in, you’re the first guy in, you’re the last one to leave, you’re living in that office,” Mr. Brown said. “I think this device could actually help coaches in their quality of life, help players in their quality of life because they can do things, like the corporate world, in a virtual environment.”
There are still long days. That’s inevitable. But now those days can include more work from home.
“Guys have families,” Young said. “It just makes it more convenient to be at your house and Coach sends everyone an email on the iPad because it’ll ring regardless and say, ‘Hey, this is what the install is. We’re going to change this blocking scheme for today.’ Before they teach it, we can get a look at it.”
What’s the downside?
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.