Most coaches are all for being able to use replay technology on the sideline during games, a change that will probably make its way to the college sidelines in 2017.
However, Paul Johnson is one of the few coaches against handing staffs a tablet on the sideline with video replay abilities that would allow them to almost instantly make adjustments.
“I think it takes away coaching,” Johnson explained earlier this year. “That was one of the things I always liked to think I was decent at, was looking out there and seeing what was going on. Now, anybody can do it if they can sit up there and look at the monitor and run it back.”
“Now, people are going to look, they’re going to figure out a lot quicker how you’re blocking them and how you’re doing things.”
As a young coach that likes to think he embraces technology on the field, it pains me a bit to say that Johnson is absolutely right – and the fact that he’s running the triple option on game days certainly plays into his thought process. Johnson has been a successful triple option guy for as long as most coaches have had a whistle around their neck, and he knows the offense better than anyone, but if you give defensive coordinators and the defensive staff (who had just a week to prepare for Tech’s unique scheme) a tablet on the sideline, he no longer has the same type of advantage he had coming into the game in years past.
With that being said, I can certainly see where Johnson is coming from. Coaches that have been around the game and understand how to make in-game adjustments the old school way aren’t crazy about technology coming in and tilting the playing field. Young guys that embrace the technology on the sideline should thrive, while those resistant to the change are going to struggle. But let’s be honest with ourselves, we’re heading into the fall of 2016 where technology is king, and many high school programs are already using sideline video, so it’s only a matter of time before college and NFL coaches are using it.
While Johnson and other old school coaches may not be all for the change, having replay technology on the sideline is something that will help put your kids in the best position to make plays and limit mistakes on the field, which is the same thing that all coaches are striving for at the end of the day. High school coaches using it already rave about it, and it will be good for the game at the end of the day.