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Source: NFL Network to Use New Player-Tracking Technology on Thursday

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Source: NFL Network to Use New Player-Tracking Technology on Thursday

The NFL Network is equipping all players' shoulder pads with a tracking device for the first time on Thursday during the Packers-Bears game as a means to enhance their television coverage, according to Alex Tallitsch of First String Public Relations who represents Packers tight end Tom Crabtree.

The exact use of the new technology is not yet known, but the devices will measure player speed, location and distance traveled, just to give a sampling.

Presumably, it will work in a similar manner to GPS, which will potentially be able to give viewers a two-dimensional rolling diagram of any particular play.

Based upon the limited information available, it's possible the new technology will be able to provide a new metric to compare and contrast players. Using player speed, viewers might be able to find out who the faster wide receiver is, Jordy Nelson or Brandon Marshall.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Farah's picture

Looovveee this. Data collection FTW!

mingala's picture

So when do the suits in the NFL get with the program and add GPS to the ball? Trivial technology for a game of inches that currently relies on (scab) refs to visually place a ball and measure with chains. I can't believe the owners aren't demanding this with so much on the game.

Jamie's picture

No joke!! The real refs were bad enough, but the replacements are TERRIBLE at spotting the ball!!! (Among other things)

Aaron's picture

GPS only works to a certain degree of accuracy, which is in my memory about 15 ft, so it's probably not that viable anytime soon. Plus, it'd be tricky because they would have to match up that data with whatever point in time they think the ball carriers knee was down. It'd probably take a long time.

packsmack25's picture

I'm sure this is a bit different than the GPS you are using in your car or on your phone. There is probably quite a bit more accuracy here.

dominic's picture

wow.. i have to say this is a step in the creepy direction...but its pretty awesome too.

G's picture

Someone is going to use this to see if an injured receiver is running at full speed, then exploit the data during the game.

Awesome.

Erik's picture

This sounds a lot like Adidas' Smart Soccer they rolled out for MLS with the All Star Game this season: http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/1375/mls-all-star-game-w...

rymetyme's picture

Yeah, this technology has been used in international soccer for a long time. I know that it won't hurt the game like people are fretting about.

The DB either keeps up with a WR or he doesn't. I don't know what advantage GPS speed data would give them. A lot of successful WRs weren't drafted in Rd 1 because they didn't destroy the field with their 40 time, but they can still run a route better than the Ted Ginn Jr's and David Clowneys of the NFL.

Bomdad's picture

Maybe the regular officials opposed it because it would reveal their mistakes like offside calls.
If addidias owns the tech, Nike would not use it.
NHL had the puck tracker 10 years ago
And finally we can find Mean Joe Greene's jersey he traded for a Coke!

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