Last week the NFL made a huge announcement with their release of the "All-22 film", also known as Coaches Film. For a mere $70, you can purchase the season plus package of Game Rewind and have access to the All-22 film. This is a great deal because not only do you get all of the games available on replay, but you will also finally have access to the same film that NFL personnel use to breakdown and evaluate themselves with.
If Indiana Jones pursued football film, this would be his Ark of the Covenant. This is a big deal for a lot of reasons. For years the casual fan and sports writers have been denied access to the All-22 film. The NFL kept this film off limits to the open public and treated it like treasure. We have been unable to fully diagnose plays due to the fact the current television broadcasts use a sideline view that makes it difficult to see the entire field.
What made the NFL change their mind and open up their vaults to the public? The most likely answer is monetary. The NFL stands to make a lot of money of their Rewind package, and the demand for the product is probably through the roof since the news about the release of the All-22 film.
After suffering a lockout last season that angered a lot of fans, it was time for the league to step up and give something back to the fans.
Jeff Berman, the NFL’s general manager of digital media, said Friday that the competition committee wasn’t a obstacle but rather the NFL saw a "tremendous opportunity" during a meeting in late March when the issue was presented. He said the committee viewed the film as "something to reward and engage our most passionate fans."
This was a great move by the NFL and I feel like a kid in the candy store knowing I will have access to the All-22 film. Take the jump for more...
On last year's Rewind the NFL offered a few plays of the All-22 look. It basically teased the Rewind viewers and only offered them a brief glimpse into what it really looks like to see the same film coaches and players have access to. It was just last November when Reed Albergotti wrote a very interesting article for The Wall Street Journal. Not too long ago, it didn't look like the All-22 film would ever be released to the public.
If you ask the league to see the footage that was taken from on high to show the entire field and what all 22 players did on every play, the response will be emphatic. "NO ONE gets that," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email. This footage, added fellow league spokesman Greg Aiello, "is regarded at this point as proprietary NFL coaching information."
Bill Parcells insists that the television broadcasts are preventing viewers from fully understanding the game of football, and I have to agree with him.
By distributing this footage only to NFL teams, and rationing it out carefully to its TV partners and on its web site, the NFL has created a paradox. The most-watched sport in the U.S. is also arguably the least understood. "I don't think you can get a full understanding without watching the entirety of the game," says former head coach Bill Parcells. The zoomed-in footage on TV broadcasts, he says, only shows a "fragment" of what happens on the field.
One area that should definitely become easier to understand is the secondary. Most of the time we can't see what the safeties are doing because they are not in our line of site. We will be able to see what the safeties are doing now, and that is one area I will be spending a lot of time on during my film sessions this fall. The cornerbacks can also be hard to see on the regular broadcasts, and I will be watching how Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne utilize the press technique.
I received a comment on here ( I am sorry that I forget who you are) asking me to breakdown Dez Bryant and all of his routes. With the technology I had access to at the time, it would have been impossible for me to do that. This season I will have access to everything that the wide receivers do on the football field. Dez is one of my favorite players and is entering his third season, the year where wide receivers are supposed to take the next step in their development. As a writer this will be a great tool for future articles, but as a fan the All-22 film will allow me to get a closer look at my favorite players.
For all of the positives that the All-22 film will have, it does have it's negatives. NFL analyst and former general manager Charley Casserly believes that the All-22 film could have a negative effect on the game.
Charley Casserly, a former general manager who was a member of the NFL's competition committee, says he voted against releasing All-22 footage because he worried that if fans had access, it would open players and teams up to a level of criticism far beyond the current hum of talk radio. Casserly believed fans would jump to conclusions after watching one or two games in the All 22, without knowing the full story.
"I was concerned about misinformation being spread about players and coaches and their ability to do their job," he said. "It becomes a distraction that you have to deal with." Now an analyst for CBS, Casserly takes an hour-and-a-half train once a week to NFL Films headquarters in Mt. Laurel, N.J. just to watch the All-22 film.
The access to the All-22 film should create a wildfire of opinions, but the fans and sports writers should have the right to see this film. Of course there will still be some folks out there that misunderstand what they are seeing and translate it incorrectly, but think of the good it will do for the people who use this information the right way. There are so many great minds out there that work with limited resources, this is a tool that will allow them to become students of the game.
The BTB staff has already discussed internally how awesome this is going to be, and I can tell you right now that the other front page writers are going to step their games up even more with the access to the All-22 film. This is going to change the way we look at the game of football. The content this fall is going to be pure genius, and I cannot wait to see the articles based on what we see from the All-22 film. BTB just got that much better, and we have to thank the NFL for that.