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Eagles Employing New Technology During Practice


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Sports is merging with technology more and more these days. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, the world of sports is following suit. In baseball, we’ve had radar guns for a while now. But pitch tracking is becoming increasingly accurate. A computer can easily determine balls and strikes. It can also map out where batters typically hit the ball. These new technologies are helping players and changing the game.

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Soccer has seen some recent changes as well. In this summer’s world cup we saw the trial run of an instant replay booth off-site from the stadiums. In order to get important calls right, FIFA decided to employ the use of a referee room to go over footage of plays in real time in order to assist the on-field ref with difficult and important calls. Football has long used instant replay to help in important situation so it’s no wonder that other sports are beginning to adopt the technology as well.

But the Philadelphia Eagles are at the forefront of a new technology to help their quarterback Carson Wentz’s performance.

New Technology

Ever heard of Zebra Technologies? Probably not. But in the coming years it’s quite possible that this might change. So far only about a quarter of the league is using their products. But the results are interesting.

So, what does Zebra Technologies manufacture? The company makes computer chips that can be built into shoulder pads, sewn into jerseys, and even put inside of the football.

The goal of using these computer chips in the shoulder pads and jerseys is to track players’ biometric data. This means that at each moment during practices and games alike, the coaching staff can learn how a player’s body is performing. This is especially useful in sensing whether a player has fully recovered from an injury.

After a knee injury if a player appears to slower, less agile, it could be an indication that he’s not yet back to tip-top shape. So this technology can help coaches know when to put their players back on the field and therefore keep them safer and healthier.

But how is this technology helping Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz?

Quarterback Technology

The Eagles have been using this technology for several years now. For Carson Wentz’s entire time with the team, they’ve been able to track his performance. This means they have a very solid baseline for how he should be performing.

The chip in the ball doesn’t only track how fast Wentz is throwing it. It also can track the speed with which he drops back after a snap, and monitor his footwork in the pocket. Because the Eagles have so much data on Wentz, they can compare how he is doing currently to past performance. This lets coaches and staff get an idea of how he should be performing.

Safety Benefits For Players

This computer chip technology is great for telling when a player is getting tired. Coaches can now pinpoint at which point in a practice a player starts to tail off in terms of ability to put forth effort. This means that coaches can give their players a rest at the exact time they need it. It also helps them know if a player is ready to return to play after an injury.

This is huge for players and coaches alike. Although football in general has a mentality of playing through pain, this doesn’t help anyone. Players obviously don’t want to get hurt and coaches don’t want to lose guys on their roster. So any technological advancement that can help both players and coaches avoid injuries on the field is something worth looking into.

The new chips can even go a step further to help prevent injuries in the first place. If coaches know when to give players a break, there is a good chance that injuries can be avoided. It is often when players are fatigued that injuries happen. When a player is moving slower with a degraded reaction time, they are more at risk to get hurt. The new chips can help coaches step in before players get to the point of exhaustion and risk getting injured.

Using Zebra Technologies Products For Goal Setting

The collection of all this data about performance can help players set goals. Any goal-oriented person knows that the more specific a goal is, the more likely it is to get accomplished. Now that players can track their speed and strength, reaction time and movement, they can look at very specific aspects of their game that need improving.

For example, a quarterback can now look at how his footwork in the pocket may slow down or get sloppier as he gets fatigues towards the end of a game. Tracking his movements and how they change can help him and his coaching staff figure out how to prepare for fatigue and what to work on in practice to be ready for game day.

Carson Wentz Is Up And Running

There’s no doubt that the Philadelphia quarterback has benefited from the computer chips. Coaches have seen him recover from tearing his ACL and LCL in his left knee. Even better than that, they’ve seen him improve his data since before the injury.

There’s no better motivator than seeing your stats improve. Wentz and players around the league can attest to the effectiveness of the Zebra Technology. It won’t be a surprise if more teams begin to adopt it.

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