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  1. #1
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    "Giants General Manager Jerry Reese looked out a window at the team’s training
    facility one day last summer and quickly became confused. He knew that
    Manchester United, the British soccer power, was training at the facility ahead
    of its match with all-stars from Major League Soccer, but he had no idea what
    the players were wearing.


    “Ronnie, what’s that strap on their back?” Reese said
    to Ronnie Barnes, the Giants’ vice president for medical services. Barnes
    smiled.




    “That’s a G.P.S. device,” he told Reese. “And we
    should have them, too.”




    The reason, Barnes said, was simple. Technology, the
    Giants hope, will ultimately help optimize a player’s ability while reducing the
    risk of injury, essentially telling the team when a player is physically ready
    to be at his best. Now, after dabbling with the use of heart-rate monitors
    before last season, the Giants are pushing forward with the idea, an outlier
    among N.F.L. teams.




    In recent off-season workouts, the Giants used
    heart-rate monitors, G.P.S. devices and hydration/nutrition monitoring to better
    evaluate how much energy a player had exerted and how quickly he was recovering.
    While similar technology is widely used by soccer teams around the world, as
    well as by athletes in individual sports, like runners, few professional sports
    teams in the United States have shown an interest.




    “Football is really the last bastion of sports, where
    you don’t really look at that,” Barnes said. “Yet we train them like heck, and
    we don’t really know whether they’ve recovered or not.”




    He added: “I’m looking into the future. We’ve known we
    need to do this, and I feel like we’ve begun to pioneer a little bit with our
    players and within the league.”




    It is a multilevel operation. Tracking a player’s
    heart rate allows the team to see, among other things, at what points and during
    which drills a player is at maximum exertion, and how often he reaches that
    point. Testing hydration levels allows the team to see if a player is showing up
    to practice with full energy and if he is replacing the fluids he loses — if he
    is not, he may be more prone to injury. Using G.P.S. devices allows trainers to
    see the distances run by specific players during workouts — data that can be a
    powerful comparison tool for coaches and front-office executives.




    For example, G.P.S. data from a recent Giants workout
    showed that Da’Rel Scott, one of several running backs competing for carries,
    ran the most among the backs. When Barnes mentioned that to Tom Coughlin, the
    coach was intrigued, considering all of the backs were doing the same drills.




    “It really lets you see exactly what you — and just
    you — are doing,” offensive lineman Kevin Boothe said of the technology.




    Generally, the number of players involved in a workout
    makes specific attention impossible.




    “Currently, Couch Coughlin comes to me and says, ‘Do
    you think the team looks tired?’” Barnes said. “Or the players come to me and
    say, ‘Our legs are dead.’ And I’ll go up and say, ‘Coach, the guys are telling
    me they’re really tired.’”




    Barnes laughed and continued: “And usually he says to
    me, ‘Well, we haven’t done that much!’ But then he’ll make adaptations based on
    what I’ve told him. With this setup, I’ll be able to tell him, yes, they are
    tired — and also that, say, Ahmad Bradshaw is particularly tired and here’s
    why.”




    About 35 Giants players volunteered to wear the
    devices during workouts, as well as give urine samples to measure hydration. The
    players also answered standardized survey questions designed to give context to
    the data. The Giants worked with Timex — one of their corporate partners and the
    maker of the devices — as well as the Korey Stringer Institute, which is a part
    of the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, to conduct the
    study.




    Each morning, players went to a table outside the
    locker room to pick up their equipment. The heart monitors were worn with a
    strap across the chest, and a G.P.S. watch went on each player’s wrist. Before
    each workout the players answered questions about how they were feeling that
    morning — tired? thirsty? — then headed to the weight room or practice field.



    During workouts, data could be tracked in real time on
    laptop computers. At one point an observer staring intently at the screen
    noticed most of the heart-rate lines had gone flat. When she looked up with
    alarm, she chuckled; the players were standing in a circle, idly stretching.




    After a recent workout, Boothe returned his equipment.
    A staff member then asked him several questions, requesting he use numbers to
    rate his level of exertion, thirst and pain, among other feelings.




    “When did you go to sleep last night?” Boothe was
    asked. He thought for a second. “Ten-thirty,” he said. “When did you get up?”
    “Six-thirty,” he said.




    For linebacker Chase Blackburn, answering candidly was
    a challenge: “The crazy part for me was them asking what we’re eating. This time
    of year, the off-season, I’m not used to telling people, Yeah, I had pumpkin pie
    or whatever.”




    Wide receiver Victor Cruz said reactions to the new
    devices varied. “At first, to be honest, it was kind of annoying. Guys didn’t
    want to put extra stuff on,” he said, noting that athletes are creatures of
    habit.




    But Cruz generally embraces technology — “I’ve got
    everything, the laptop, the iPad,
    the iPod,
    I’ve got it all,” he said — so he began trying to figure out how the data could
    help him.




    “Seeing at what points my heart rate peaks and things
    like that will make it easier for me to tailor my own workouts when I’m not with
    the team,” he said.




    Cruz also recognized the safety aspect of the
    technology. He has vivid memories of the shock he felt when he heard that
    Stringer, a lineman with the Minnesota Vikings, collapsed and died from
    complications related to heat stroke after an off-season practice in 2001.




    “They didn’t have these tests before, and they didn’t
    know where it came from until they did an autopsy,” Cruz said. “You don’t want
    it to have to be like that.”




    Still, the biggest obstacle for widespread use in
    football remains simple logistics: How can these devices fit under a bulky set
    of shoulder pads? While some companies, like Under Armour, have produced apparel
    with similar technology embedded in it, those products have received mixed
    reviews.




    Barnes said the Giants were in discussions to find a
    way a device could be worn with the players feeling little to no intrusion. He
    added that he hoped the team would be able to use the technology in a
    significant way this season.




    Either way, he plans to do a presentation for the
    players at training camp based on the data gleaned from the off-season program.




    “I’m ambivalent about the players’ reception of it at
    the moment because they all think they’re the biggest, fastest and strongest,
    and that they’ve gotten here without any kind of help,” he said. “They’re wrong.
    We’re slowly but surely cultivating them, and they’ll buy in. I really believe
    that.”




    He added: “We’re not going to stop doing it. It’s
    going to become part of the Giants’ culture.”

    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1








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  2. #2
    All-Pro slipknottin's Avatar
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    what craziness.

    Next you are going to tell me that the team gets their playbooks on ipads and Coughlin has a twitter account.

  3. #3
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    [quote user="slipknottin"]what craziness.

    Next you are going to tell me that the team gets their playbooks on ipads and Coughlin has a twitter account.[/quote]

    LOL
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1








    # 80

  4. #4
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    [quote user="slipknottin"]what craziness.

    Next you are going to tell me that the team gets their playbooks on ipads and Coughlin has a twitter account.[/quote]

    The iPad play book? Hmmm that could be really beneficial if you think about it.

    It could be an interactive thing where the play is actually ran on on the iPad and could show you how to react against different defenses.


    Niceeee

  5. #5

    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    [quote user="Pakman"][quote user="slipknottin"]what craziness.

    Next you are going to tell me that the team gets their playbooks on ipads and Coughlin has a twitter account.[/quote]

    The iPad play book? Hmmm that could be really beneficial if you think about it.

    It could be an interactive thing where the play is actually ran on on the iPad and could show you how to react against different defenses.


    Niceeee[/quote]

    There's an app for that...

    No, I have no idea if there really is; I just wanted to say that...

  6. #6
    Veteran ebick's Avatar
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    [quote user="RoanokeFan"]


    “Currently, Couch Coughlin comes to me and says, ‘Do you think the team looks tired?’[/quote]




    Are they talking about me? That could be any number of people here!


  7. #7
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    [quote user="ebick"][quote user="RoanokeFan"]


    “Currently, Couch Coughlin comes to me and says, ‘Do you think the team looks tired?’[/quote]




    Are they talking about me?* That could be any number of people here!

    [/quote]

    LOL

  8. #8

    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    [quote user="slipknottin"]what craziness.

    Next you are going to tell me that the team gets their playbooks on ipads and Coughlin has a twitter account.[/quote]
    A digital playbook would have a lot of advantages. For one: any changes could be instantly relayed to the player.


  9. #9
    Veteran Rat_bastich's Avatar
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    Actually Slip was using sarcasm. They actually have it on iPads. I forgot which player just recently had theirs stolen.

    And, of course that (post prior)is from the bright, D.J. Williams showing his plays from the Broncos.

    By the way we know that most teams get their plays from Madden anyways.

  10. #10
    All-Pro gmen46's Avatar
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    Re: GIANTS ADD TECHNOLOGY TO THEIR TRAINING STAFF

    I wonder if. after all the wrinkles are ironed out of some of the devices, the Giants will provide heart monitoring for some of us older fans--especially for 4th qtr at least. I could have used a little health monitoring at the end of several games last year

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