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Look for the NFL to embrace tablets on the sidelines soon

I laugh nowadays when I see quarterbacks and position coaches analyzing plays on the sideline by staring at frozen print-outs from a nearby computer than I can only assume looks like this:

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It’s 2014, man. Paper playbooks have become a thing of the past, moving almost entirely to tablets. So why shouldn’t teams be allowed to use technology on the sidelines?

“NFL players and coaches are currently not allowed to use computers, tablets, smart phones or video devices during games,” writes Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. But that could change, at least in the opinion of Drew Brees.

“Probably in the next few years you’re going to see this on the sideline, actually being used to put video on,” said Brees recently on Chelsea Lately, according to PFT. “You see us quarterbacks on the sideline flipping through pictures now. They have to print those out, staple them together.”

It’s only a matter of time before that happens, and before coaches carry tablets rather than clipboards. The reality is that it’ll make it easier for players to prepare for what’s coming next, which could result in a cleaner product on the field and could even cut down on injuries.

The NFL can certainly tweak the settings on sideline-approved devices to ensure that no funny business takes place. And if that’s the case, I see no reason why the league wouldn’t embrace technology on the sidelines in the very near future.

(Playbook picture via the Denver Post)

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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