The NFL is a league that is notorious for being resistant to change, and that is especially true among coaches. As new and useful technologies pop up, many forward-thinking high school programs adopt them, and it often takes years for the NFL, in the name of either tradition or stubborness (or a bit of both), to follow suit.
One prime example of that at work recently is the introduction of instant replay on the sidelines. It’s technology that high school coaches have been utilizing for years to get instant feedback during games, and yet the NCAA and NFL are just now talking about adding it to the sidelines for the 2017 season.
The Ringer did a great piece that sheds some light on why the NFL may be so resistant to introducing sideline instant replay for coaches, and Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera led the charge starting back in March at the NFL league meetings in Boca Raton, FL.
Rivera told The Ringer that if they allow video on the sideline it creates a slippery slope for how much technology is used.
“Where does it end? Can you get text messages or go out there with an iPhone and figure out where to go? What are we creating? I know there are millennial players, but this is still a game created 100 years ago.”
At the college level, Rivera has an ally in Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson who recently noted that having video available to coaches on the sideline would “take away from coaches”. That’s right in line with how Rivera feels on the topic.
“I want to get beat on the field. I don’t want to get beat because someone used a tool or technology — that is not coaching at that point. I work all week, I’m preparing and kicking your ass. All of the sudden you see a piece of live video and you figure out, ‘Oh crap, that’s what he’s doing.’ And how fair is that?” Rivera explained.
Head over to The Ringer for the full scope of how technology is trying to pierce the shield of the NFL, and why the league is resistant to changes.