DUNLAP, Ill. — You think you can tackle a remote-controlled dummy that moves up to 16 miles-an-hour?
The Dunlap Eagles are doing it.
“We’ve seen the benefits of getting those full speed tackles and not hitting our own guys,” Dunlap head coach Brett Cazalet said. “That’s a positive.”
Dunlap’s practices now feature four MVP’s, mobile virtual players. They are battery-operated, 160-pound tackling dummies made by Rogers Athletic.
They are controlled remotely by coaches and that eliminates the need to tackle your teammates.
“It allows a lot more reps because you’re not tackling live,” Cazalet said. “As a coach, you get to see about three times as many tackles in practice at live speed.”
The Dunlap booster club purchased four MVP’s for the football team. The robotic tackling dummies, which retail for about $3,500, arrived the second week of fall practice.
Technology has been invading football for years. Coaches send plays to quarterbacks through ear pieces inside helmets and players come of the field and immediately analyze plays on electronic tablets on the sidelines.
Cazalet thinks these mobile tackling dummies is the next big advance in football technology.
“I’m sure the older, retired football coaches are rolling their eyes and can’t believe what’s going on. It’s different with all the technology today,” Cazalet said. “There’s no doubt about it. It is the best (tackling) simulation we’ve ever had here. It’s as good as you can get without a person.”