The other day, while watching the NFL Combine, I noticed some of the players wearing something that looked like it was out of a science fiction movie. It was placed in the dead center of the shirts worn by athletes who were trying to improve their draft stock.
It kept flashing like a beacon. At first, I thought it was just something to measure heart rate. Reasonable, right? After all, we all care about player safety and anything that could warn us before someone has an episode would be a good thing.
It didn't take long, however, for the analyst to explain the blinking protuberance. They explained how the new E39 technology by Under Armour was designed to measure heart rate, breathing rate and G-force.
My first response was one of negativity toward the device. After all, I kind of like that taking a player in the draft is a bit of a guessing game.
I also like the fact that my team might have an advantage over others who might not have as good or as hard-working scouts as my team. I really like that.
Right now, the players are analyzed in games, 40-times and vertical ability—among other drills. It's anyone's guess who the most explosive player is.
Or is it?
The vertical drill measures explosiveness. The first 10 yards of the 40 can be used to measure explosiveness, and so can other drills if you know where to look. But the device can also measure heart and breathing rate.
How much of an advantage is it to have a device that lets you know how long it takes for a player's breathing rate to get back to a normal level? How else would one know if a player was out of shape or not?
It seems as though the E39 technology might have taken things a bit too far. It has certainly leveled the playing field. Teams no longer have to guess which players are in "football shape" and which ones aren't.
Is this a good thing for the NFL?
I guess that all lies in the eyes of fans. Are you happy that the NFL continues to go toward the ways of technology? Are you happy that the teams are now on a more even playing field?
I'll leave the answers to those questions up to you.
My guess is that if you're a fan of teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers or the New England Patriots, you probably don't like the technology. It definitely takes the advantage away from the teams that know how to draft players.
So, what is your take on the new technology? Is it a good thing or bad thing for your team? Let me know.
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