The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin using the SIDEKIQ simulator football software developed by EON Sports VR as a supplement to their on-field work for quarterbacks when the team reports back for training camp beginning on August 1st. Additionally, the Buccaneers plan to become the first NFL team to introduce virtual reality at the youth football level by incorporating instructional sessions featuring the technology at the Cannonfire QB Clinic planned for July 25th at Skyway Park in Tampa, FL.
“We are excited to be coming in on the front end of this new wave of technology that is designed to supplement the on-field and classroom work that our quarterbacks are already doing,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “Obviously, there is no real substitute for being on the field when it comes to getting our players ready for game action. However, this virtual reality technology allows us to enhance the learning experience for our quarterbacks without requiring them to put in additional time on the practice fields.”
As the use of virtual reality technology continues to grow among college and professional sports teams, the SIDEKIQ simulator is the first computer modeling product that allows the user to input a playbook and an opposing team’s playbook seamlessly into the software. The system is extremely portable, requires only a specially-designed lightweight headset that works in conjunction with proprietary software, and can be used with any smartphone. Through the use of computer-generated graphics, the SIDEKIQ simulates game conditions and allows the user to custom tailor a virtual game scenario from the same perspective they would see on the field during an actual game or practice session.
“Virtual reality has become very popular in high school and college programs and there has recently been much more interest in the technology from professional sports teams looking to add to their teaching tools while limiting exposure to injuries that may occur in live-action situations,” said EON Sports VR CEO Brendan Reilly. “We are excited to get to work with the Buccaneers and provide their quarterbacks with the opportunity to train more efficiently than ever before.”
The Buccaneers will also make the virtual reality experience available to youth football players who participate in the team’s upcoming Cannonfire QB Clinic scheduled for July 25th at Skyway Park. The Clinic, which will include on-field as well as white board instructional sessions with Buccaneers alumni and former college quarterbacks, will run from 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. The clinic costs $125 and is designed for players between 4th - 12th grades. For additional information and to register, please click here.
“The virtual reality technology that has been introduced by EON is a technological breakthrough that will change the way many coaches and players, at all levels of football, will approach game preparation,” said Buccaneers Chief Marketing Officer Brian Killingsworth. “We are excited to be able to roll out the same innovative technology that our quarterbacks are using to the participants in the Cannonfire QB Clinic program that we have introduced this season.”
About EON Sports VR: EON Sports VR is a Kansas City-based company that helps athletes reach their true potential through the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies. Started in the summer of 2013, EON Sports VR uses cutting edge visualization software that simulates competition so athletes can practice in game–like scenarios without needing access directly to their coaches, facilities and incurring physical wear and tear. The visualization capabilities range from large scale immersive environments to smartphone simulators. For further information, visit www.eonsportsvr.com.
The above report comes courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.
A video discussing the SIDEKIQ simulator can be seen below. It shows how coaches like Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka helped contribute to the development of the software. Even Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Shepard makes a came in the clip playing quarterback (as he played in high school).