In 2017, Ric Serritella of NFL Draft Bible wrote a series on emerging technology in NFL and college football circles. We found it very illuminating and learned plenty, and we know we weren’t alone. Now that he’s finished his service’s draft guide for 2019 – and for $10, it’s a bargain and something we encourage you to check out — we asked him to continue his series. Enjoy.
Cell blocks: When isn’t it appropriate to check your phone these days? Well, welcome to the modern-day NFL, which now features “phone breaks,” courtesy of Kliff Kingsbury. The Arizona Cardinals’ new 39-year-old head coach said that the time for “cell phone breaks” has come at the annual NFL league meetings this week. “Twenty minutes at a time,” he said in this report. “Give them a break and get them back in. You start to see kind of hands twitching and legs shaking, and you know they need to get that social media fix. So, we’ll let them hop over there and then get back in the meeting and refocus.” Apparently, he brought this over with him from his time at Texas Tech, where he went 35-40 in six seasons. Is this the beginning of a new trend or a fad from the college ranks that will surely be frowned upon amongst more traditional coaches? Only time will tell, but it’ll be interesting to monitor.
Sunday Ticket termination?: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Bloomberg that the league is exploring its options for the NFL Sunday Ticket package, currently carried by DIRECTV. AT&T-owned DIRECTV pays the NFL $1.5 billion per year for the exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket, but the NFL could opt out of that agreement after next season. “We’ve had a 25-year partnership and we want to continue that partnership, but we also are looking to see how we can change the delivery,” Goodell said. “We want it delivered on several different platforms.”
Sherman becomes SportsCastr: SportsCastr, the live-streaming company that lets anyone become a live color commentator, announced 49ers DC Richard Sherman has joined the company as its first Brand Ambassador. SportsCastr is a real-time live-streaming app that lets anyone become a color commentator, and enables viewers to select which sportscaster they wish to have call, recap, or make predictions on a game. SportsCastr is currently in public beta, and is available for free on the App Store. “I was drawn to SportsCastr because its technology really has the potential to change the way athletes engage with their fans, and the way fans connect with their favorite players,” Sherman said. “I’m excited to start using SportsCastr to share exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ content, and to help the company reach a broader audience.” Sherman’s first SportsCastr stream will be shared later this month at www.sportscastr.com/richardsherman.
CFL footballs get ‘smart:’ Three QBs in this weekend’s Canadian Football League combine will be using the X-Pro Connected Football designed by Wilson Sporting Goods. These footballs will utilize an undetectable sensor to measure quarterback performance in the areas of throw quality and play timing. The data points that teams will be able to see include snap to release, snap to target and release time, along with spin rate, spiral efficiency, and throw count and velocity. “In essence, we are replacing what we’ve relied on for years—the “eye test”—with quantifiable facts on a player’s ball speed, spin rate, launch angle, timing and much more,” said Kevin Murphy, General Manager at Wilson Sporting Goods.
Check back next week for the latest tech trends and happening occurring across the football landscape. For more industry insider news and info, be sure to visit Inside the League.