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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston to train in virtual reality

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be training their new rookie quarterback Jameis Winston in a new virtual reality system at their training camp.

The Buccaneers announced on Monday they’ll be using the Sidekiq football-simulator software developed by EON Sports VR on the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The system simulates game conditions using computer-generated graphics. It also allows the user to change the scenario they are in from the same point-of-view they would see if they were playing the game in the NFL.


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Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht spoke to ESPN about how excited he was about the technology available to his team’s players.

He said: “We are excited to be coming in on the front end of this new wave of technology that is designed to supplement the on-field and classroom work that our quarterbacks are already doing.

"Obviously, there is no real substitute for being on the field when it comes to getting our players ready for game action.

“However, this virtual-reality technology allows us to enhance the learning experience for our quarterbacks without requiring them to put in additional time on the practice fields."

The Buccaneers aren’t the only team to use virtual reality to help their players. The Dallas Cowboys have also invested in a virtual reality system that provides their players with a three-dimensional look of live action from their practices.

EON Sports VR CEO Brendan Reilly said to ESPN virtual reality is helping sports a lot, as it helps them avoid the risk of injury through practice.

"Virtual reality has become very popular in high school and college programs, and there has recently been much more interest in the technology from professional sports teams looking to add to their teaching tools while limiting exposure to injuries that may occur in live-action situations.

"We are excited to get to work with the Buccaneers and provide their quarterbacks with the opportunity to train more efficiently than ever before."

The Buccaneers will begin using this system when their training camp starts on August 1.

The amount of help the virtual reality system will provide the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner is a question yet to be answered. We shall see if this helps Winston lead the Buccaneers to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season.

If it doesn’t help, the Buccaneers may as well have told Winston to play Madden instead.

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