The National Football League is an entity which is always trying to push the envelope in every possible way. Whether it’s in how it protects their players, or now how coaches can now see what their quarterbacks are seeing with the help of a camera which is attached to the quarterback’s helmet.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in on this trend, and Kenny Pickett has worn this helmet on the side of his helmet for Phase 3 of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp.
How did it go? As expected...
“It’s just hard to see, honestly, through the camera with bodies in your face and stuff,” Pickett told ESPN. “But there’s some things you can take from it, kind of like where I’m starting with my eyes and stuff.
“So it’s been good.”
For the player the camera might feel cumbersome and awkward to wear, but the footage which is retrieved can help the coaches almost as much as it can the player wearing the addition to the helmet.
“Just always looking at any type of edge, any type of advantage,” Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan said during OTAs. “This is the time of year to do that. It’s the time of the year to improve, to lay the foundation, to really set the stage for where we want to go. And that’s just an extra tool that we’re still fine-tuning it, trying to get a sense of, because what it does is — it gives a vision of how he sees it.
“It’s not perfect. I mean it’s not like having an iPhone back there, but it does give a perspective so that from a pre-snap standpoint gives us a chance to see, ‘OK, Hey, you were looking here, what did you see? What were the tells by the alignment of the linebackers or where this player was, what have you?’ And then we’ve been able to intercut it or overlay it with that, his vision. So it’s just an additional resource, an additional teaching tool. ... Anything that we can do to help that young man take that next step we’re going to do.”
This technology is being used by other teams, and has even been used in colleges as well, but the main question is will it equate in success? Will it actually improve the offense? That will be the key question for the Steelers heading a crucial year for both Pickett and offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
At this point, it can’t hurt, right?
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.