Chicago Bears looking for competive edge with Virtual Reality
By Jesse Tamayo
The Chicago Bears have begun using virtual reality to help train the team.
The Chicago Bears recently finished their first minicamp of the summer. While most of the headlines came about Leonard Floyd revealing how a concussion affected him or the play of rookie TE Adam Shaheen. Some surprising information was revealed about the technology the Bears are now employing to bring their new quarterbacks up to speed before the season starts.
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The team has begun working with STRIVR, a virtual reality company founded by a former college kicker, to enhance the quarterback play and increase virtual reps. With three new quarterbacks on the roster something needed to be done to help increase the reps while not violating NFL rules on practice times.
Coach John Fox said this of the new system:
"“There’s probably seven or eight teams in the league using it. Our newness at quarterback, whether it’s Mitchell, Mark or Mike, it’s just getting reps that the other guys don’t as far as the on the field, they’re able to get it in the meeting room, where it’s ‘virtually’ like practicing.”"
Those teams include NCAA teams such as Stanford, Clemson and Temple (AAC champion). Deshaun Watson, former Clemson quarterback and Houston Texans rookie, used it on his way to the National Championship and said, “I really fell in love with it.”
NFL teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, and Minnesota Vikings have all became publicly announced clients. STRIVR does not reveal clients without their permission.
Undoubtedly the Chicago Bears are looking for a competitive edge on the offensive side of the ball after finishing the 2016 season 15th in total offense and 28th in scoring offense. Add to that the need to give the QB’s as many reps as possible and it’s easy to see why the Bears invested in this technology.
If the Bears can replicate the offensive success of some of the aforementioned teams it will reduce the pressure on the defense and hopefully make the team more competitive overall.