Life in the NFL can be a busy, fast-paced job -- especially for coaches. When someone gives you a product which is supposedly going to minimize injuries, is cutting-edge and in theory can help make your players better, you jump at the opportunity.
It is this reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers turned to robotics, yes, robotics, to help their team throughout at least one of their offseason workouts. Check out the cool video posted on the team's official Twitter page, as well as a more in-depth look at the technology here.
The tool is called the MVP (Mobile Virtual Player) and was created to "reduce player-on-player contact", and, as you watch the video, you can see it certainly achieves such a goal.
Before people scream from the rooftops how the game is becoming soft, fans should remember these phases off offseason workouts are strictly non-contact. Therefore, instead of hitting a stationary tackling dummy, a moving one which can seemingly interact with the players seems to be the best possible solution for a coach and team looking to get more physical reps without breaking any rules (yes, we are looking at you Baltimore Ravens).
"It's an awesome piece of football technology. I'm always interested in ways to utilize technology in terms of teaching football." Head coach Mike Tomlin said via Steelers.com.
"The application for this is really endless. It never gets tired, it runs at an appropriate football speed."
The Steelers tested the product last Thursday at the team's practice facility, and there were no reports as to whether or not they are going to be working with the MVP in the future, or just testing the product.
Either way, what you are seeing is most likely the future of football practice in the era of head injuries being on the forefront of concern for NFL organizations and players.