The Giants may not always be first in the NFC East, but they've made a habit of being first in technology.
During Friday's practice, the team that introduced the NFL in the 1950s to press box-to-sideline photography of defenseIfs and wide-angle coaching films took another step when the affixed a tiny camera atop the helmet of rookie quarterback hopeful Ryan Perrilloux. Now, it's a question of how that film came out, and how much useful information the coaching staff can glean from it, as to whether the quarterback-cam will become standard training issue for all its quarterbacks.
The Giants are believed to be the first ones using it, though Perrilloux said he'd heard of Notre Dame using it on their quarterbacks in 2010, his last year at Jacksonville State.
"It's a real good tool to use to make sure we're looking at the right area," Perrilloux said.
The Giants have long been leaders in the technology field. If you pick up my book, "Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football's Greatest Coaches Launched Their Legends and Changed the Game Forever," Due out Sept. 1 and now available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, you'll see how Vince Lombardi and Wellington Mara went about sending photos from upstairs in Yankee Stadium to the field to tutor Charlie Conerly on opposing defenses. And you'll read about how the Giants were the first to use press box-to-sideline wireless hookups for coaches during the same era.
Now, they've taken an administrative function and turned it into a coaching tool. Since the new collective bargaining agreement forces teams to record entire practices to ensure compliance with practice rules, the team has employed two-inch Go-Pro cameras to handle that. But their compactness, HD recording quality, and relatively cheap $300 cost led them to experiment with Perrilloux.
It picks up audio, which will allow the staff to check Perrilloux's callout of the middle linebacker and various other signals. And the visual follows his head. The coaches will know exactly what he was looking at on any given route.
"It definitely makes you more focused, more fundamentally sound," Perrilloux said. "It makes sure you see guys down the field, keep seeing the safety."
Tom Coughlin didn't seem too thrilled with the idea, either, after looking at the initial output.
"It's a little dark, not as clear as I was hoping," Coughlin said.
But the coach left open the possibiity that the other quarterbacks could eventually utilize it.
"If it was offseason," Coughlin said. "Not right now."
It's also possible that linebackers and safeties could be using it in the near future, too.
Some high school teams are using it, as well as Notre Dame.
"This way, we're all seeing the same thing," Perrilloux said.
It's not a perfect system, though.
"The head movement is going to be a little shakey," Perrilloux said. "You're dropping back, your shoulders are square, but your head is going from here to here to here. It can get kind of wobbly, but you're trying to keep your head on a swivel to keep track of both safeties, whether they're blitzing or they're hot. Or see if they're covering areas or if they're man; bottom up, top down.
"But going up to down, left to right, it's a good deal.
"As far as us going on our base-area reads, going 1-2-3, the camera will pick that up."
Whether this stuff catches on remains to be seen. But as far as Perrilloux goes, there are no secrets anymore.
What he's looking at, what he's saying, is all on film for the coaches. In Hi-Def.