Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 11/13/14

Before HD televisions and DVDs, Champ Bailey watched grainy film on VHS tapes.

The Denver Broncos recently joined the iPad playbook revolution and have given every player a ‘Pad for studying film, plays and more.  For the younger, tech-savvy players, the iPads are easily adjusted to.

But for some of the veterans, including eleven-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, the iPads will take some getting used to.

“When I came into the league, we were still looking at the VHS tapes, taking them home and everything,” Bailey told The Daily’s Chris Corbellini on Thursday.  ”And then they converted it into DVD.  After that, they started putting some film on the iPads. Now we’re getting everything on the iPads.”

Bailey noted that while he still brought a notepad into meetings during minicamp, a lot of the younger players will benefit from the team embracing technology.  “The more you make things easier for yourself, the more you are inclined to do it,” he said.  “That’s technology, man. The world is changing, and we’ve got to change with it.”

“I think, for us new-tech-era kids, it’s nice, because it’s all in one system,” third-year receiver Eric Decker said.  ”You take notes on it, you can load up film, you got your playbook. So it’s a one-stop shop.”

The Broncos are one of four teams that have moved from paper to iPad, joining the Ravens, Buccaneers and Dolphins.  Denver however still has DVDs and paper playbooks available for the players not yet ready to dive into the high-tech playbooks.

The Dolphins fine their players $10,000 for visiting “unauthorized” websites on their iPad playbooks and Denver Head Coach John Fox noted several weeks ago that Bronco players have two sets of iPads, one for personal use and one the team can update with film, plays, nutritional information and more.  Many traditional iPad features are unavailable on the team’s playbook versions.

So far the Broncos have only had one mishap (D.J. Williams’ playbook tweet) but Fox brushed off that particular blunder and Williams’ teammates likely learned from D.J.’s mistake.  Hopefully, nothing like that will happen again.

The Broncos are among the first teams to embrace what will likely been seen across the NFL on sidelines in the near future.  Watch for iPads and similar technology to sweep across the league over the next few years.  Paper playbooks will likely become obsolete by the time Bailey retires.


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