Coaches, former NFL players, and industry pundits all agree that film study is an integral part of the game. A team’s game-film paints an entirely different picture than what you might see on Monday Night Football. For one, every player and position is represented. Formation is on full display, as well as any mistakes made by any one player. This is how the term, “The eye in the sky don’t lie” got coined.
Dave Wyman, former NFL middle linebacker and contributor to 710 AM ESPN Seattle, speaks about the importance of the endzone view. The middle part of the field where the offensive line and the front seven of the defense are present, also know as “the box,” is what Wyman was most concerned with after every game. “I would fast forward past the sideline angle and get right to the end zone view,” he reminisces. “You can see every movement, every step and every running lane close up.”
As coaches bounce back and forth between the sideline and endzone view they will correct players and the unit as a whole. Game film provides coaches with a great opportunity to explain proper position and play techniques as well as calling out players on their successes where credit is due. Not only is this an excellent avenue for creating improvements, but it also serves as confidence boosters to individual players and/or the offensive and defensive squads.
Additionally, the sideline and endzone camera footage provides tremendous insight into your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Wyman goes on to explain how athletes like interior lineman DT Alan Branch review game film. “Sometimes I’ll watch just the first second of a play for five minutes,” Branch has said, “just so I can see the steps a lineman takes and try to get some kind of an edge or an advantage.”
Beyond the athlete-to-athlete anticipation, coaches especially like to use the endzone camera film in order to get a read on what their opponent tendencies look like for down and distance. How often does a team pass on 2nd down past the 50 yard line? Which side of the field does the quarterback prefer? What kind of predictions can be made so that your defensive plays are adapted depending on the circumstance? And the same mentality goes for the offensive coordinator(s).
For these reasons the power of sideline and endzone camera film is pivotal. As Marc Lillibridge, former NFL linebacker, says in reference to tendency film study, “There’s nothing better than being 90 percent sure what play was about to be run.” Game film can turn football into a chess match. Sure having the best players means something, there’s no argument there, but a team’s superior in-game adaptations and overall strategy is nothing to scoff at either.
Because of the high stakes and level of play in the NFL, film study is absolutely essential. Yet affirming that the college and high school level isn’t quite as elite as the professional league does nothing to discredit the necessity of film study in these worlds either. Doesn’t matter if you’re playing for millions of viewers on primetime television or a couple hundred local town members, parents, and fellow students. Neither coach nor athlete at any level is ever done learning the game of football. Consequently, every team needs access to the “eye in the sky".
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Wyman, Dave. “The Importance of Film Study.” 710 ESPN Seattle. MYNORTHWEST.COM. Bonneville Internationl, 30 Sept 2011. Web. Accessed 6 Dec 2016.
Lillibridge, Marc. “A Former Player’s Perspective on Film Study and Preparing for an NFL Game.” BLEACHERREPORT.COM. Bleacher Report, Inc., 30 Nov 2012. Web. Accessed 6 Dec 2016.
Posted on December 9, 2016 at 11:30 AM