NFL Draft Tidbits and EA Curses

Have you ever wondered what it is like in a team’s War Room during the NFL Draft? Well Andrew Brandt at ESPN has put together what it was like at Green Bay when he was there. There is not much that a fan does not know, or thinks that they know about how a team operates its draft.

One thing that stood out was the fact that the Packers had two rooms, one focused on players with the expected lists and depth charts. The second one was a financial room that dealt with issues such as salary cap, contract acceleration and years, agents and more.

It was not just for the Packers but also other teams as it could affect both drafted players and ones that are already on a rival’s squad that might be released due to cap space. This was an aspect I had never really given much thought to even though executives are often touted as cap experts, it has a much far reaching impact than it might seem on its face.

The Fans have spoken
At this time of the year there are a number of important issues facing NFL fans- should my team trade down in the draft? Will we be able to trade up to get that power back the team sorely missed last year? Why did we fail to get our pick in on tine?

However one of the biggest issues is “Who do we stick with the Madden Curse?” Yes the voting is in for who will grace the upcoming release of Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 13. This year’s ‘winner’ is Calvin Johnson, Jr., the Detroit Lions wide receiver.

Johnson beat Carolina Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton by a healthy margin of 52% of the total vote. It is interesting to see how much attention this event now has. A total of 20 million votes were counted in the seven week campaign on ESPN that narrowed the field down to the final two, this was a 54% increase over last year, 19.6 million compared to 12.7 million.

The Draft
The Draft starts tonight with the selections starting at 8 p.m. ET. Tomorrow’s round starts at 7 p.m. ET and the Saturday selections start at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Denver Broncos the latest to jump onto iPad Playbook

The Denver Broncos have jettisoned its old time playbooks in favor of the bright new shiny iPad; 120 tablets in all which will feature Verizon Wireless 4G access and with most of the iPads top end models with 64GB, according to the Denver Post.

The team plans to load the iPads not only with the playbook but also with each weeks game plan, scouting reports on upcoming teams and video clips among other digital data. The system will be set up so that as new plays are developed they will be ‘pushed’ onto each tablet.

In the past the team had printed a 500 pound playbook each week of the season that contained much of the information, but the sheer mass made it very difficult to quickly locate different pieces of information.

The program was co designed by the Broncos and a developer named PlayerLync and among the program’s features is the ability to allow players and coaches to annotate and highlight plays as well as provide the team with playbook security by enabling it to erase the entire iPad remotely.

The team will provide the iPads to coaches, players, scouts and other team personnel. It should be noted that while the players and coaches can use the iPads for practice and training purposes the NFL does not allow electronic devices of this type to be on the field during games.

The league has relented somewhat in that in the past these notebooks and tablets had to be off in the locker room 90 minutes prior to kickoff, now that rule has been rescinded.

This is part of a growing trend in the NFL and elsewhere; teams have found that instead of cumbersome paper notebooks, sleek iPads or tablets can not only easily replace them but enhance the value of the digital playbooks by allowing for remote upgrades and player feedback.

At least nine NFL teams now use the iPad, with five, the Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and Detroit Lions, signing on with Global Apptitude last month. MLB has also been increasingly active in this area as well.