Bruce Arians is saying no to video.
Throughout the preseason, the NFL is permitting teams to use sideline video in addition to the photos that players and coaches study on their tablets (they also occasionally chuck them). Arians, the coach of the Cardinals, is ready for the experiment to end, even if video provides more information to teams in the middle of games.
“It helps bad coaches,” he said, per The Arizona Republic.
He then elaborated, saying defensive coaches are at a disadvantage.
“Defensively, you spend a lot of hours and time on a blitz and a guy can sit there, watch it on tape, show it to his guys and fix it in the first quarter,” Arians said. “That’s not what it’s all about.”
Arians’ comments and position are important for two reasons. One, the NFL is in the midst of an information revolution, as technology becomes even more accessible for teams to use in the middle of games. Just a few years ago, players studied actual photographs on the sidelines. Now, they’re using tablets. Video could be next.
Back in June, The Ringer’s Kevin Clark wrote an extensive piece about the information war, which involves more than just in-game video. In that article, Panthers‘ coach Ron Rivera came out against the use of video on the sidelines.
“I want to get beat on the field. I don’t want to get beat because someone used a tool or technology — that is not coaching at that point,” Rivera told Clark. “I work all week, I’m preparing and kicking your ass. All of the sudden you see a piece of live video and you figure out, ‘Oh crap, that’s what he’s doing.’ And how fair is that?”
It appears that Rivera isn’t alone in his belief.
Arians’ comments are also important because he was just reportedly added to the NFL’s competition committee — the group that proposes rule changes. By the sound of it, Arians definitely won’t be pushing for the NFL to expand the use of in-game sideline video to the regular season.
Arians also added one more reason why video shouldn’t be permitted on the sideline: It makes officials look bad, as The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers reported:
“I showed it to him (the official) and said, ‘This would be your worst nightmare if I had this on the sideline,’ ” Arians said.
The main takeaway here: If the NFL allows the use of videos, they’ll have a lot more broken tablets to fix.
Source: CBS Sports / Bruce Arians on the use of sideline video: ‘It helps bad coaches’