ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) - Off-season voluntary workout started Tuesday for the Bills and as usual, players picked up their playbook upon arrival. But the typical 3-ring binder playbooks the Bills are used too are now no longer.
As the Bills arrived in Orchard Park Tuesday, a new set of coaches wanted to instill a new culture into the team. From phrases on the walls to a jumbo-sized Vince Lombardi trophy, and highlights from the Bills' glory days, the new staff wanted to focus the thought process on winning.
And part of that new culture was a step into new media--getting rid of the typical 3-ring binder playbooks and replacing them with a new app-based playbook for iPads.
As players filed in, each one was handed an iPad, which was a surprise to some.
""This is a first for me," said Safety Da'Norris Searcy. "I thought we were going to get the thick binders again. I walked in and there was a table. They were like 'stop right here to pick up your bookbag and pickup your iPad,' and I'm like...what iPad? If this were my rookie year, I'd have to buy an iPad. But it's fun. I'm going to go home and play around with it now."
All of the players seemed to be excited about the change to new technology, and were glad to see a shift from the past into the future.
"We have playbook on our iPads now," said Center Eric Wood. "It's a little cutting-edge I guess."
The playbook goes through the app GamePlan, by Global Apptitude. The app was customized for the Bills and can assist with so many things as opposed to the 3-ring binder playbooks.
"They [coaches] can input news to you," said Wood. "They could write you a note and say 'hey, check this out before you come into the building tomorrow,' and you can watch your practice before you come in."
According to Buffalobills.com, Head Coach Doug Marrone placed emphasis on having all things new at One Bills Drive, and the players are pleased with the changes.
"You got to make changes when you're trying to make a change," said Quarterback Tavaris Jackson. "You got to create a different atmosphere and environment for us, period."
Nearly half of the teams in the NFL have switched over from paper playbooks to iPad playbooks, including last season's Superbowl Champs, the Baltimore Ravens.
(Thank You to Buffalobills.com for allowing the use of video!)