Chicago Sun-Times

Saints special system available to other teams

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In a league in which teams are constantly looking for an edge, the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints are about to divulge one of their secrets.

A Tacoma-based company called IdentityMine last season developed a system for the Saints that merged player records, reports and charts with videos to streamline the team's personnel department. Northbrook-based STATS Inc., provided the specialized content, and Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard provided the touch-screen technologies.

The system is called ICE, which stands for Interactive, Collaboration & Evaluation.

"They're ecstatic about it," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said of his scouts. "But they hate this because now it might be available to other teams."

Although ICE saved the Saints time, they didn't fully realize the benefits because they didn't get to access all the tools during the entire 2009 season. Loomis said they missed the window to get coaches up to speed, but he leaned on his pro personnel scouts to serve as the team's guinea pigs. Specifically, the pro scouts relied on the system to help with their evaluation of upcoming opponents.

"We were excite because we'd never seen X-Info tied to a video catalog," said Nick Stamm, the associate director of marketing and communications at STATS. "So it's increasing the value of the data, and it's more user-friendly."

Now, though, IdentityMine is prepared to expand their service to other teams - on a first come, first serve basis.

John Pollard of IdentityMine said his company is able to implement the system for the entire 2010 season for 12 other NFL clubs. Along with Stamm and representatives from HP, Pollard is showcasing his system to NFL executives and coaches at the combine.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Minnesota Vikings vice president Rick Spielman are among those who have already seen the system.

"It really unlocks the knowledge and intelligence teams have available to them," said Pollard, the director of business development for sports and entertainment at IdentityMine.

For instance, the Saints grades of incoming rookies is on a magnetic board in the team's personnel room. But IdentityMine's system will digitize the draft board, automatically updating the ever-changing grades and also allowing the information to be displayed on other platforms.

With the system, players can download "homework" onto their mobile phones via a USB cable, and coaches can more easily package information for meetings.

"I think this technology will help our coaches more than it'll help our personnel department," Loomis said, noting that the game plans could be automated.

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Sounds amazing, how much do you want to bet the Bears won't be one of the 12 teams intrested. I know some people here hate stats and math and the big scary numbers. But the Super Bowl champion Saints really seem to like them. A video catalog for stats is just insane, talk about breaking it down.

The Bears should adopt this system.

Some of the things you can do with tech like this are amazing...then again, it is much easier to download a draft board and hand it off to another team for a check this way too :)

Think any of their success had anything to do with a Top QB? Without that, I wonder how much that system would have helped them? So, with Cutler.....

This is a copy-cat league, after every Super Bowl people are all over the champs and are trying to break down exactly what they did to become champs.

The technology sounds nice and the system should help break down game plans for a teams personnel, but at the end of the day, the personnel still have to execute the game plan. The Saints won the Super Bowl because they had the better team that day, plain and simple.

The great Mike Ditka said it best, "football is simple, just beat the guy in front of you," and Ditka was right. At the end of the day, after all the scheme's and technologies teams come up with, it really doesn't matter, whoever beats the guy in front of them will win games.

The off-season is simple for Chicago. I say pay J. Peppers and team him with Tommie Harris to give Chicago the front they need to execute their scheme. And bring in a left guard or any kind of offensive line help to help out Chicago's offense, because again, footballs all about who beats the guy in front of them, just an opinion GO BEARS!!

Yeah, well our "braintrust" uses crayons and finger paints..I think this technology would just be wasted on them...shhhh..don't disturb them as they're piecing together another Super Bowl roster (NOT!)

Its a wonder that something like this hasnt came out sooner. The NFL is a multi billion dollar program. The teams are multi million dollar operations. Technoligy is so advance and so is the NFL now it only seems like a match made in heven. Im sure teams in a couple of years will all have something to this type of computer programing that it will seem secondary.

Creighton you like everything everyother team has or does besides what the team you root for? Realy are you a fairweather fan that like is what is trendy for that time. Last year you praised the Broncos and wished every coach and player was with the Bears. What is this year. A Sean Peyton type offence with the Raven defence game plans???

who cares. It takes execution to win. There is no 'catalog' for execution. This isn't a video game.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on February 25, 2010 1:09 PM.

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