TAMPA — The young Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to keep a leg up on other NFL teams this year and they’re willing to take any aid that is out there.
No it isn’t Kory Sheets or any other free agent, it’s Steve Jobs.
The man may have stepped down as CEO of Apple recently, but not before helping the Bucs out. Thanks to his innovations that created the iPad 2, the Buccaneers have gone digital and if nothing else, saved a few trees. The team has announced that they are purchasing iPad 2’s for the entire team to store playbooks, videos and other team related material.
Welcome to the 21st Century Tampa Bay.
“It’s crazy how much technology has changed the game,” Bucs Safety Cody Grimm told the Times. “Back in the day, I think probably the whole team had to sit down with a projector and a reel, and watch the film together. They’d have the whole offense in the same meeting room. Now we all have our own iPad. Stuff that we used to come in here to see, we can sit on our couch at home and have access to it 24-7. It’s awesome.”
According to the St. Petersburg Times and a report on PC World.com, the Buccaneers have downloaded (or uploaded) playbooks to 90 iPad 2’s, one for each of the 90 players and coaches on staff. It also takes the stress off players leaving playbooks behind and having them fall into the wrong hands. “We give these playbooks out, and by the end of training camp, we collect them so nobody sells them on the Internet,” Morris said. “You’ve got a way to wipe [everything] off with the push of a button.”
It also doesn’t hurt team morale that these young guys get their hands on an Apple product, argueably the most popular and hip brand on the market globally. The team seems all for the new iPad initiative, even if some of the older players still prefer a pen and paper, they understand the new technology can only help.
“I think guys are really more likely to go home and take a look at their plays [with the iPad],” said running back Earnest Graham. “It’s the way guys these days are about anyway. Now all of a sudden you’ve got to take your playbook home.”
The idea of using the iPad’s as playbooks came about when Raheem Morris used one to view video’s of draft prospects. He brought the idea of the convenience to GM Mark Dominik who, being the innovator of the Bucs organization, loved the idea.
“It got to the point where we said, ‘Hey, let’s put some of the video on there … from the season. How about practice? How would [Josh] Freeman like to go home and watch practice again? How would “Free” like to sit there and watch third down from Detroit and Miami so when he comes to work the next morning, he’s seeing the tape again and putting it all together?”
Now the Buccaneers can all easily review film, break down plays and, with the devices new Skype capability, not only conference call team meetings if need be, but players can stay connected to their families while on the road.
Morris even admits that he himself is now accustomed to breaking down film on his iPad whilst listening to his own playlist.
“I got my Jay-Z and Drake on my iPad, and Mason Foster playing to it,” he said.
Does it get any better than that?