Bucs invest in virtual-reality system to help Jameis Winston

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have bought a new virtual-reality teaching tool for rookie quarterback Jameis Winston.

The Bucs announced Monday that they will begin using the Sidekiq football-simulator software developed by EON Sports VR. The Bucs will begin using the system when training camp starts Aug. 1.

"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," general manager Jason Licht said. "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."

The system uses computer-generated graphics to simulate game conditions and allows the user to custom-tailor a virtual game scenario from the same perspective they would see on the field during a 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," EON Sports VR CEO Brendan Reilly said. "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 Dallas Cowboys have also invested in a virtual-reality system that gives players a three-dimensional look at live action from practice.