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League explains “Sideline Viewing System” regarding tablet use


In response to the blurb based on the blurb from that was based on the blurb in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the league has given us enough information to craft yet another blurb.

(I need a thesaurus.)

The Buccaneers’ use of tablets during games falls under the umbrella of a new pilot program known as the “Sideline Viewing System.” It permits teams only to use tablets in lieu of black-and-white paper photos of pre-snap and post-snap images. For now, teams have the ability to decide whether to continue with the old system or to use the new one.

The system gained approval of the Competition Committee earlier this year. It could eventually replace the current mechanism for looking at photos during games.

Instead of the lower-quality black-and-white pictures, the tablets will deliver high-definition, color images over a secure wireless system. Coaches and players will be able to draw on the photos and save their notes.

Teams also will be permitted to take the tablets to the locker room during halftime to review photos with notes. During halftime, however, the tablets won’t be connected to the wireless system.

That’s the extent of it, for now. The tablets won’t be used in lieu of laminated play sheets (for now), to call plays (for now), to determine whether to go for two (for now), to replace via oversized screens the photos shown by the Eagles to the players on the field (for now, or likely ever), or to do anything else.

Surely, the league will at least consider expanding the system to other possible applications, as the old-school chalk-and-slate coaches become more comfortable with new technologies that really aren’t so new.