With the Pro Bowl seen as more of an exhibition game than a competitive matchup, the league will once use this annual event to test out a number of game day innovations that might one day be approved for use during the regular season.
Six new modifications will be tested for their viability on Sunday, with perhaps the most significant being the installation of multiple coach-to-player communications devices to be used simultaneously during the game. Under current rules, only one player on either side of the ball is permitted to wear a helmet that allows them to talk to the coaching staff on the sidelines, signified by a green dot on the helmet, but this testing could help change that rule one day.
A look at some of the game day innovations that will be tested at the 2019 @NFL Pro Bowl.— NFL345 (@NFL345) January 25, 2019
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As per the NFL Communications department, this is the full list of changes the league will be testing throughout the game.
- Optical performance: Testing the new prism football shield to enhance player vision on-field.
- Multiple coach-to-player on-field communication: Multiple players on each side of the ball to have communication equipment in helmet for future evaluation.
- Adjustment to game clock: Modifying both game and play clock for understanding and maximizing pace of play.
- Camera angles: Helmet camera, officiating hat camera, pylon 1st down camera, and pregame camera in locker room to provide unique perspectives.
- Player & Legend captains wired for audio: Expanding on ESPN’s existing use of player audio in the “Monday Night Mic” segments.
- 360-degree camera: A 360-degree camera under the goal post with a view of the entire back line of the end zone, providing a unique look at potential scoring plays.
New camera angles and audio sources should enhance the viewer experience, even if the game itself is not much of a contest. The potential of helmet cameras is an exciting addition that the NFL first used with great success in the World League of American Football back in 1991 and an innovation that many have wanted to see in the NFL for decades.
The Pro Bowl will kick off at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ABC and Disney XD. More information on how to watch the game and all the players taking part can be found here.