The Green Bay Packers have been showing off their new technology in order to help their wide receivers get the ball into their hands.
It’s fair to say that science and technology have come an awful long way during the 100+ years that the NFL has been around. From what the players wear; going from leather helmets to the plastic ones that they have to wear now, to the fitness and nutrition regimes that makes sure they’re in the best shape possible, things have certainly changed for the better.
However, there are a few things that whilst they might seem antiquated still have a place in the game. For instance, the chains that measure the down and distance have been around for more than 70 years and unless something better comes along to accurately measure where the ball is (say a chip tracking system to get it even more precise), it doesn’t look as if they’re going anywhere anytime soon.
One other machine that seems to have lasted the test of time is the JUGS machine, which is the device that similuates balls flying through the air as it launches them through two very fast spinning wheels to the receiver or defender, although it can also be used in a few other fun ways too:
Taking a step forward
Now though the technology has been dragged into the 21st century as the Green Bay Packers have become the first team to use the ‘Seeker’ (not to be confused with the Quidditch position in Harry Potter) developed by Monarc.
The technology is far more advanced than the JUGS machine which simply required a coach to feed the ball into the machine and letting it rip. As the video explains, there is a lot more to it than that:
And to see it in action, this video demonstrates just how efficient it can be at being able to deliver different types of balls in quick succession, faster than what a coach could do by adjusting the JUGS beforehand:
Here’s the Seeker in action doing rapid-fire punts set to a specific hang time and distance.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 15, 2022
Meanwhile, LB Kirk Olivadotti walked by and said: “This is how the robots are going to win the war.” pic.twitter.com/vV1YicQykl
It’s going to take a while before we can see whether or not this actually has any tangible benefits to the players themselves, or if it’s a case of changing something for the sake of changing it when we didn’t really need to.
But if the Packers start seeing the benefits of it, then it probably won’t be long until we see the other teams take it on.