Steelers experiment with new helmet camera technology

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It's jumpy, sort of awkward and gave Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a headache, but tis the season for experimentation with technology.

Soon, perhaps the Steelers' coaching staff can yell at their players for all new reasons.

Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly wrote Sunday about Schutt Vision - an HD camera built front and center in a football helment designed to provide a new roll of film for study.

A video example of this from what appears to be a high school or college level practice from Schutt Vision's web site shows images that appear to be helpful in some manner, but confusing in others. While it records what a player sees, it's often jumpy and the natural jarring movements of a football player recorded in this fashion could lead the viewer to experience less-than-desired results.

(Fair warning - watch your volume.)

Kaboly wrote Steelers coach Mike Tomlin twice said, "It gave me a headache."

Motion sickness is setting in on my end. I'd pity the poor video coordinating intern for the Steelers who'd have to cut the film acquired through this method, but the spirit of the technology is solid. Perhaps it would work better as a presnap teaching tool rather than use from snap to whistle.

The Tribune Review points out the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars are also using this technology, along with about a dozen Division I programs.

It would serve a more meaningful purpose in helping identify coverages and reads if frozen on a spot where the width of the field is visible. It didn't seem like the camera angle was wide enough to see that, and with the quarterback processing all of that information in real time, it may not be readily apparent on film what he's seeing from the corners of his eyes,

On defense, a one-high free safety surveying the entire offense in presnap could give a good perspective on what an offense is doing, but without the depth to be able to determine where that player was in relation to others would make it difficult to determine whether that players was in the right position.

It would, however, be helpful in breaking down tackle attempts, or as a contributing angle in conjunction with the regular film.

The Steelers' experimentation with the technology may not move past that point, but as Tomlin points out through Kaboly, this time of the year, it's worth trying out new methods.

I wouldn't expect we'd hear a whole lot more of it, but if the NFL decided to go in this direction, you can bet they'd be selling access to these cameras on certain players.

Make sure to bring your Dramamine.

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