Jets Huddle Up With Agile Sports
May 27, 2008 - 11:31:03 AM

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By Carolyn Braff

Days before the NFL Draft, the New York Jets signed the player that may make the biggest impact on the team’s preparation this season – Agile Sports Technologies. A two-year-old company based in Lincoln, Neb., Agile Sports has provided the Jets with an online distribution platform that integrates video, playbook information and scouting reports to streamline the Jets’ draft preparations and give the team a jump on the upcoming season. 

Huddle, Agile Sports’ online distribution platform, enables coaches to review video, make remarks and distribute comments to players in real time through an internet-based system that can be accessed from anywhere. For draft purposes, the system effectively unchained the coaches from their offices as the final hours ticked away before the first pick. 

“The Jets’ scouts and coaching staff used Huddle to watch the draft film that they had either collected from the colleges, the NFL combine or the players’ individual workouts,” explains David Graff, chief executive officer for Agile Sports. “Instead of spending extra hours at the office, they were able to take their work home with them.” 

“No longer are our area scouts at the mercy of a static Beta machine or DVD player,” says Steve Scarnecchia, video director and special projects coordinator for the Jets. “The Huddle program allows them to study all of their player evaluation video from anywhere there is an internet connection." 

After signing this year’s draft class, Huddle’s playbook tools are helping the rookies learn their roles quickly. Players can watch video, listen to voice recordings and review written comments from coaches, all without having to go through a stack of DVDs or change applications on their laptop. 

"The Huddle program allows us to teach effectively over the web so that when the young guys arrive for mini camp, they have a leg up in their preparation,” Scarnecchia said. 

Graff, a former sports information director at the University of Nebraska, developed Huddle along with two other Nebraska graduates in the spring of 2006. Nebraska signed on as a development partner for the 2007 season and after a successful run with a Big 12 program, the Jets became Agile Sports’ first NFL client in April. 

“Coach Mangini is a very progressive coach, so he was quick to latch on to the potential for Huddle,” Graff says. “He saw where it could really benefit his team and provide a competitive advantage for the Jets. They were quick to process it, get all their players and coaches onto the system and start using it right away.” 

Graff pointed to the presentation layer of the platform as one of the selling points for the Jets. Through Huddle, coaches can easily tie together video, playbook images and PowerPoint slides to create presentations for use in team meetings and for direct distribution to players. 

With video-sharing issues a rising concern for professional football programs, Agile Sports took the necessary precautions to ensure the highest level of security for its newest client. 

“As soon as a player is cut or traded to another team, their account can be immediately deactivated and any information that was downloaded or stored on their computer’s hard drive is erased by our program,” explains John Wirtz, Agile’s chief operating officer.

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