Seahawks experimenting with virtual reality

Pete Carroll has long been a proponent of innovative coaching and evaluation techniques, reaping the benefits of SPARQ evaluation and prioritizing former players as coaches. Now, the Seahawks are one of a handful of NFL teams that are also experimenting with the use of the virtual reality program STRIVR to improve the team's play.

In the ultra-competitive environment of the NFL, those who lag behind in technique and technology also find often themselves behind on the scoreboard.

As such, count the Seahawks among the handful of NFL teams that are experimenting with how virtual reality can help them win football games.

The Seahawks were one of several clubs that first started toying with the idea of adding virtual reality to its evaluation after reviewing a presentation at the Combine. Since, the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers have each signed on with STRIVR, a company led by former Stanford kicker and quality control coach David Belch.

The Seahawks have not yet formally introduced the virtual reality component to the public but Carroll was seen during offseason workouts directing a camera man onto the field. The footage taken should provide the coaching staff and players with a new perspective. Bruce Feldman of FOXSports.com shed light on just how this perspective can aid players (especially quarterbacks) with this enlightening piece in March.

Among those Feldman spoke to for his article was former Seahawk Trent Dilfer, who now serves, of course, as an analyst for ESPN and heads the Elite 11 quarterback camps.

"I was blown away," Dilfer is quoted by Feldman. "I thought, 'This is gonna change how QBs prepare.' I've seen just about everything that's out there and there's nothing like this. I think if Drew Brees or Tom Brady sees this, they're gonna demand it.

"To me, it's an absolute walk-off grand slam, but at the end of the day, the coach has to understand it, and it's going to depend on the coaching staff and how much they're willing to prepare those repetitions, because there's gonna be a ton of legwork that goes into it. I guarantee this: A lot of teams (that saw it at the Combine) are back in their homes thinking, 'How are we gonna implement that?'"

It is not yet known if the Seahawks will fully adopt the technology or were just experimenting for a practice or two. Given the insight that STRIVR has provided Stanford and other college programs over the past year, it certainly sounds like an intriguing coaching tool and few coaches (or owners) have been more willing to experiment with technology than Carroll and Paul Allen.

It was only a few years ago that players could be seen looking over photographs of plays on the sideline. Those pictures now seen archaic as players and coaches in today's NFL often rely on i-Pads and other tablets to review tape during the game.

SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories