Broncos the latest team to embrace the iPad, eschew the playbook

Shutdown Corner

If you're a copy machine owned by the Denver Broncos, I've got good news for you: Your workload will be way, way down this season. Normally, the Broncos produce 120 500-page playbooks every week of the season. This year, they're giving out 120 iPads instead.

The advantages are many. The Broncos can update every player's iPad remotely, at the whim of the coaching staff, anytime they please, which will make it much easier to get players their necessary game tape and weekly game plan information. And should an iPad get lost or stolen, the Broncos can disable it remotely anytime they please.

Also, there's Shark Dash. Don't forget Shark Dash.

I don't know what configuration everyone got, but if the Broncos purchased 120 iPads at around $700 each, it cost them about $84,000. That's a lot of money, but look at it this way ‒  Joel Dreessen, between his base salary and prorated signing bonus, is going to make $1.83 million this year. The Broncos got to outfit everyone with an iPad, improving their access to information and instruction, and in theory, making them better football players for 1/22nd of the cost of a Joel Dreessen. A bargain, I say. Plus, the Broncos save money doing it this year and not last year, so they don't have to pay for Tim Tebow downloading 82 different Bible apps every day.

The Broncos are only the third team to go from traditional playbooks to iPads. The Ravens have done it, and the Bucs did it a year ago, and I'm a little surprised that everyone else is so slow to get on the bandwagon. You could argue that it's a competitive advantage, and it's available relatively cheaply. I know some owners don't want to spend money ‒ rumor has it that the Raiders are considering going with the Coby Kyros MID7012 from Walgreens instead of the iPad.

The one downside is that the NFL doesn't allow iPad-like devices on the sidelines, under the same rule that prevents cell phone use on the sideline. As technology improves and is more widely implemented, I don't see how that can't change.

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