NFL teams considering replacing playbooks with Apple iPads

MacBook Air Kick Off Sale “NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys could soon be abandoning their traditional paper playbooks and game-day printouts of plays in favor of iPads or other tablets,” Daniel Terdiman reports for CNET.

“Pete Walsh, head of technology for the Cowboys, said his team and at least a ‘couple’ of others are currently considering abandoning their playbooks in favor of iPads, a move they feel could save them as much as 5,000 pages of paper printouts per game,” Terdiman reports.

“In a lot of ways, this is exactly what tablets are meant for: easy access to data via wireless networks, high-quality photos, and portability,” Terdiman reports. “And from a coach’s, or player’s perspective, imagine being able to quickly sort through a large set of plays, look at them in a stylish graphical presentation, see animations of them in action, and much more. Or download a photo of the last play seconds later.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A no-brainer, but the ability to download a photo – or even a video – of the last play within seconds might force some instant replay rules to be changed as it’s not very risky for a coach to toss out the red flag if he can first review the play on his iPad.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]


  1. I’m with “One word”:

    Unless Apple is going to make the iPad’s weatherproof, it’s not a good idea. There are plenty of stadiums that aren’t domes, and unless football is going to go the wimp route like baseball (Oh no! It’s raining! Stop the game!), the iPads will have to be able to handle being rained and snowed on. Also, the touch interface would need to be modified somehow to allow use when coaches are wearing gloves.

  2. Will it be “Madden NFL 11”, “NFL 2011 HDS”, or “Coachpad”, “PlaybookFootball” or some other football app?… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Wonder if RIM is upset that the NFL didn’t swap their playbook for RIM’s Playbook? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Why do people keep mentioning remote wipe as a security feature? Remote wipe needs a connection to public internet to work. Odds are someone won’t just leave an iPad playbook just lying around either and if you somehow got access to one, you’re crafty enough to turn the thing off first and not connect to any public internet until you can access it.

    And why even store playbook data on the device at all? A better use case would be an app that only securely connects to the team’s server and would only work on the field.

    It’s a good idea but you the iPad would need to be tougher, water/gatorade proof, work with gloves on (not just special gloves) and work in direct sunlight.

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