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Buccaneers embrace virtual reality trend

The Buccaneers had been looking for someone to provide a virtual reality training product to assist with the development of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. They’ve found one.

The team has announced a deal with EON Sports VR to use the SIDEKIQ software developed by “as a supplement to their on-field work for quarterbacks when the team reports back for training camp beginning on August 1.”

“We are excited to be coming in on the front end of this new wave of technology that is designed to supplement the on-field and classroom work that our quarterbacks are already doing,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “Obviously, there is no real substitute for being on the field when it comes to getting our players ready for game action. However, this virtual reality technology allows us to enhance the learning experience for our quarterbacks without requiring them to put in additional time on the practice fields.”

“Virtual reality has become very popular in high school and college programs and there has recently been much more interest in the technology from professional sports teams looking to add to their teaching tools while limiting exposure to injuries that may occur in live-action situations,” said EON Sports VR CEO Brendan Reilly, who was a guest recently on PFT Live. “We are excited to get to work with the Buccaneers and provide their quarterbacks with the opportunity to train more efficiently than ever before.”

Last month, the Cowboys became the first NFL team to adopt virtual reality training, with a competing product from STRIVR labs.

And so it’s just a matter of time before one of these companies forks over a huge pile of money to become the official (and exclusive) virtual reality sponsor of the NFL, presumably when the technology is developed into a game that can be played at home -- and re-booted every year to get people to buy millions and millions more copies of it.