The Detroit Lions are pulling out all the stops in their effort to win a playoff game for the first time in over 20 years. They’ve added several playmakers on offense and now are using a brand new technology to track how they perform on the field.
Zebra Technology utilizes radio frequencies to track players and will give NFL teams a plethora of data they’ve never had access to before. 17 teams are scheduled to use Zebra during the 2014 season, but the Lions have gotten a head start. According to Paula Pasche of the Oakland Press, the Lions are already using Zebra at training camp practices:
“Seventeen NFL teams, including the Lions, will use Zebra Technology in games mostly for Thursday night football games on CBS, it was announced this week. The Lions are the only NFL team that uses it during practice, according to team president Tom Lewand. The signs are subtle at training camp. Players have double-stitched circular patches on each shoulder of their jersey that contain markers identifying them personally…”
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 1, 2014
Lewand had this to say about the new toys:
“We’re the only team using it, some other teams are using GPS technology. We think — we think it’s also the reason the NFL chose Zebra — is that this is a much more precise way to do it. When you combine it with the other technologies we’re starting to get some really valuable information as it relates to how to put our players in the best position to prepare and succeed. It’s been great for us.’’
When he was asked how much the system cost Lewand declined to answer, but he did say that it was a worthy investment. You can learn more about how Zebra works here at Forbes.