Coaches, players talk helmet cam

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
5:40
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- They were hard to spot from a distance, but those with a good long-range view were able to see a small camera affixed to the helmet of each of the Patriots' three quarterbacks during Sunday's practice outside of Gillette Stadium.

Based on comments from players and coaches, it seems like a safe bet to say the team is in the experimental stage with the cameras.

"It’s something we haven’t done before so we’ll take a look at it and see how effective it is or what we can get out of it," coach Bill Belichick said. "I’m not sure exactly how effective that will or won’t be, but it’s something we’re trying that’s a little bit new. We’ll see how it goes."

“We were taking a look at it, just to see if you could put together some really good teaching tape and teaching film for future players at the position, from seeing it from their perspective," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels added. "There are some kinks that I’d say we have to work out in terms of how much it’s on, and the amount it moves and gyrates during the course of the time. We’re still working on it.”

While it's unclear specifically who came up with the idea to test the cameras out, reserve quarterback Ryan Mallett sounded interested in seeing what type of advantage he can gain from studying the film.

“Where our eyes are looking, just to get our eyes right to start the play," he said. "It’s pretty good. I don’t know if we’re going to continue to use it or not. It’s up to the coaches. We’ll see.”

“It’s helpful a little bit," Mallett added. "We’ll take any advantage we can get.”

Tom Brady, meanwhile, has obliged in the request for him to wear the camera on his helmet, but won't be using the film for his own studying purposes.

"It's more for some of the other guys that have asked for it," Brady said, before later adding that he did not believe it was one of the quarterbacks who asked for it. "I agreed to do it, but I feel I have what I need to see. The last thing I need is for me to overanalyze certain things."

The 35-year-old also noted that while the camera can provide a unique angle, it is not always tracking the path of a quarterback's eyes.

"Well, think about it, it's a camera bobbing up and down and moving all over the place and I could be looking at you and the camera could be shooting over here," he said.

How long the team will stick with the cameras is unknown, but as Belichick stated, the team is always open to trying ideas that can help them improve.

"Anything we can do to help instruct and coach the players better, that’s part of our job," he said.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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