In the old days – like a week ago – a quarterback would come over to the sideline after a play and the coaches would ask him: “What did you see?” That question is no longer needed. Now the staff can just wait until after practice and see it for themselves.
The Giants have begun strapping small digital cameras to the helmets of their quarterbacks, giving them a passer’s eye view of everything from presnap reads to coverages to routes run by receivers. Fourth-stringer Ryan Perrilloux was the first to get strapped up with the $300 device, attached to his helmet with two straps that make him look like a miner. It was a test for the new system, but the images came out clear enough that he’ll wear it again today and in the future other quarterbacks could begin wearing them.
“It’s definitely a good deal,” said Perrilloux, who added that he didn’t even feel the lightweight camera was on his helmet. “To me, this is the first time we can get it from the quarterback’s view, just exactly what we’re seeing.”
There are some glitches that need to be worked out. When Perrilloux took his helmet off and then put it back on during practice, the angle of the camera shifted. But the general idea seems to be working well. The camera, which was designed to be mounted on things like surf boards and other rugged equipment, is waterproof and pretty resilient to banging around. It runs continuously throughout practice with about two and a half hours of video space on it.
Perrilloux can’t wear the camera in games. Not only would it be against the rules (ask the Patriots about videotaping games from different angles!) but it would probably pop off on the first tackle. But in practice, where the quarterback is not supposed to be touched at any time, it’s ideal. And it may become more commonplace. Perry Fewell has expressed an interest in having cameras mounted on his linebackers and safeties sometime this season.
One day soon, a player might make an interception in practice and coaches will be able to stitch together what the quarterback and the defensive back saw on the play and help both of them further understand what went right and what went wrong.