Last season, the Broncos prohibited Tim Tebow and the rest of the team from having iPads in the locker room 90 minutes before kickoff. A year later, Denver handed out 130 new iPads -- and Peyton Manning & Co. had better not show up on game day without theirs.
The Broncos are not the first NFL team to start phasing out the paper playbook -- the Ravens and Bucs, among others, use iPads to varying degrees. But no team has gone all-in the way Denver has. The Broncos are using a revolutionary football app from local startup PlayerLync. The app allows coaches and players to make real-time notes and downloads. So if Manning wants game tape at 9 p.m., the video team can ship it to him instantly. Or if coach John Fox installs a new blitz package at 6 a.m., he can tap a button and push it to the playbook app on each player’s iPad.
Don’t worry about security either, Broncos fans: If an iPad is missing, a signal can be sent that immediately wipes out info on that device. “Two or three years from now, this is all you’re going to see,” says Broncos video director Steve Boxer. “There will be very little paper around.”