ESPN released an interesting piece today on how technology, specifically the Microsoft Surface, has started to take hold on the sidelines of the NFL and the culture of being resistant to change.
Watching a camera span an NFL sideline just a few years ago and you were all but guaranteed to see printers and coaches flipping through a folder of black and white skycam shots of the formations, or alignments and coverages of the last series.
Now it's very common to see coaches pinching and scrolling on a tablet in between series. The way that coaches are making adjustments during the game is changing, and fast. It's not changing what they look at, but it is changing how the see and interact with that same image.
The NFL, who has shied away from change for so long, is now finally starting to embrace technology.
"We think this is allowing players and coaches to be more productive than ever on the sideline." Microsoft director of product marketing Bernstrom told the worldwide leader.
That's something you won't get much argument on, but in the same breath, coaching at the NFL level is full of personalities that are very set in their ways and resistant to change. Everything from new offensive fads / schemes (like the Pistol) to technology seem to make their last stop in the NFL.
Exactly why that happens to be the case would be an interesting conversation.
Over the past season, or two, we've heard from a number of high school coaches who have been able to integrate technology on their sideline, and they talk about what an advantage it is to the staff and kids to have immediate feedback in the palm of your hands.
The piece also reminds us that, just a few months ago we were all chuckling at that clip of Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy tripping on his cord slack from his headset, as wireless headsets have made their way to nearly every high school football sideline.