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. MDN, can we persuade you to archive Zune Tang’s “Take”? Some of them are even funnier than yours. Today’s is priceless!

    Mind you, has anyone ever seen Zunie and MDN in the same room? Hmm …

  2. A standard ream of 500 sheets of printing paper retails for $5. If NFL gets theirs at, say, $3, they can recoup the money for each iPad in about 15 games (one single season). That means, without even considering any other benefit or improvement, saving money on printing will pay back for the investment.

  3. For chrissakes,, playbooks aren’t used on the field! They’re used in meeting rooms and for studying.

    The other uses suggested might require “toughening”, but that’s not what’s being proposed.

  4. Unlikely to completely take over “analog” methods. iPads would freeze during some Packer games on Lambeau field, and football games don’t get cancelled due to rain.

    Football team will continue to rely on methods that work in any conceivable game-day condition. If iPads are used, they will be used in ways that are supplemental, not essential.

  5. @MDN,
    How would the coach looking at the play himself be much different than one of his assistants in the booth looking at it and then radioing down the decision to challenge or not?

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