Late January every year, the NFL’s attention turns to an unlikely location – Mobile, Alabama. There, NFL coaches and scouts get an up-close look at the current crop of senior class talent at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. This year XOS and Catapult Sports will be on-site to provide the coaching and player analysis technology NFL organizations will rely on in evaluating draft prospects. So exactly what technology is being used? Let’s take a look.
A DAY IN THE LIFE AT THE REESE’S SENIOR BOWL
Correctly evaluating the top senior NFL draft prospects at the Reese’s Senior Bowl is crucial for the long term success of each organization so they need the best technology available. The Senior Bowl has once again selected XOS Digital as its video technology partner but, for the first time, has brought in Catapult Sports to provide crucial player performance data for NFL scouts and front office staff. Let’s look at a “Day in the Life at the Senior Bowl” to see how it all comes together.
Players are outfitted with individual Catapult Optimeye S5 devices that are worn underneath their shoulder pads. These devices measure 1,000 data points per second including heart rate, work load, acceleration, and deceleration – and provide coaches and scouts a clearer picture of the athlete at all times during practice.
After the practice schedule has been set, camera positions are set up strategically at various locations on and around the field to capture every angle of each drill. A camera operator is even stationed on the field shooting 360° video to provide players, coaches, and scouts a realistic view of exactly what is seen on the field.
While practice is still going on, each of these camera views are being loaded into the XOS Thunder Football HD video editing platform so they can be broken down by personnel, play, formation, and countless other categories. Additionally, the player data collected through the Catapult system is then married with the practice video using XOS Thunder Radar so movements can be tracked, routes can be mapped, and player biometrics can be available within the video.
Immediately after practice, all the camera angles have been compiled and the video has been broken down by categories for easy review. Coaches and players can access the video remotely using the XOS ThunderCloud app and begin the process teaching and learning.
One new aspect of that learning process comes in the form of virtual reality. Through the use of 360° video and the XOS ThunderVR virtual reality system, players and coaches are able to get an “inside the helmet” view of the action on the field. It helps coaches to understand decision making and players to get additional “mental reps” in a way that was never before possible.
IN THE LAB
If you’re looking to rub elbows with the NFL and college football’s elite, the XOS Video Lab is your kind of place. That’s where all the action happens. At any given time there could be 20-30 scouts, general managers, or coaches in the lab pouring over film, breaking down plays, or creating player evaluations using the XOS ThunderCloud Scout platform. It’s a virtual wonderland of all the football technology one could want.
Obviously coaches, players, scouts, and general managers need access to all the video from the entire week of the Reese’s Senior Bowl. But it doesn’t just end there. NFL marketing departments and media outlets rely on this footage to produce features on prospects and drafted players. The XOS Licensing team works closely with each client to provide the perfect footage.