LIONS INSIDER

Lions to advance sideline technology

Posted Aug 2, 2014

After every series we always see players and coaches huddling around the pictures on the sidelines of the previous sequence of plays. Well, those pictures are getting a serious upgrade in 2014.

After every series we always see players and coaches huddling around the pictures on the sidelines of the previous sequence of plays.

Well, those pictures are getting a serious upgrade in 2014.

Microsoft Surface(Photo: Detroit Lions)

Coaches will still have the option of using the old 1980s way of doing things, which is printing out the pictures and then putting them in a binder for use. Or they can use Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

Every coach this season will be given a tablet in which they can create a profile and upload the sideline pictures. The tablet will be quicker, clearer and allows coaches a lot of features like: zooming in and out, tagging specific plays as favorites for later viewing and displaying multiple pictures at once in sequence.

The Lions plan to use the new technology and will test it out when they practice at Ford Field next week.

“On the sideline each coach can hold a tablet and it takes less than 10 seconds for that play to pop in their tablet,” said Robert Yanagi, Lions director of video operations.  “We tested it out and it works great at Ford Field.

Each tablet is in a protective case and Yanagi said the league actually tested their durability by throwing them across their meeting room in Indianapolis during the Combine. That's been known to happen to a view binders after a particularly bad series.

The one drawback might be the glare on the screen during some outdoor games, which the league will test out in the preseason.

The Lions went without sideline photos for an entire half in Washington last year when there was a problem with their printing machine.

This technology will hopefully eliminate some of those issues and should get photos down to the coaches and players much faster, where they can be of better use.

Teams will have the option of using the tablets or the old system this year, but the league is looking to implement a tablet-only system for sideline photos in 2015.