NFL embracing paperless playbooks

There are a number of tools that the Baltimore Ravens used to help them win this year’s Super Bowl over the San Francisco 49ers. While many will debate the coaching and talent differences between the two teams, the ability to prepare and game plan is where the game was won and the Ravens have document imaging solutions and tablet computers to thank.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore was the first team in the NFL to implement the use of a digital playbook on an iPad with the help of several mobile applications. In the programs, players and coaches can study the Xs and Os of paper-based playbooks along with video clips and the ability to share notes, drawings and other media forms.

The team started using the system in 2011 and during the preseason 90 iPads were given to the players and coaches. Now, nearly half the teams in the NFL are using the solution.

The apps also made it possible for the team to get rid of the 20-pounds of paper that made up the playbooks before. On top of that, instead of printing out hundreds of pages every week for each updated play, coaches can easily update everything digitally and provide pages for every player instantly.

Some team executives have even seen in increase in how often players are studying. According to Ryan Fannin, the director of football information systems for the Indianapolis Colts, players are using the digital version of the playbook 50 percent more than the paper book.

More accessibility to the playbooks can help any team improve their game, as the Raven’s found this year. On top of the increased productivity, the team is also cutting costs by eliminating the need to print out stacks of paper.


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