EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — After most interceptions, there is usually a shot on television of a head coach or offensive coordinator walking up to a quarterback and asking him: “What did you see on the play.”
Most times, the words are a little spicier and the quarterbacks are forced to relive the throws and explain what went wrong.
The New York Giants have been taking the onus off free agent quarterback Ryan Perrilloux in training camp by attaching a tiny camera to the front of his helmet during practice.
The $300 “GoPro” helmet camera lets coaches not only see what the 24-year-old Perrilloux sees on each play, but also hear what he hears.
“It just shows you where his eyes are,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “So we are following his eyes just to make sure they are going where they are supposed to go as he sets and whether he starts with a free safety read, an area read or a directional read. His eyes have to go in one particular spot, and we like to think they are going where they are supposed to be.”
Perrilloux, who started his college career at LSU before being dismissed for violating team rules and ending up at Jacksonville, said the camera, which can’t be used in a game, is barely noticeable.
It weighs about a pound and looks like a bracelet jewelry box when it is strapped to the front of his helmet.
Dave Maltese, the Giants video director, saw the camera at a trade show in Las Vegas and recommended it as a cheap way to record practices, which is something teams have to do these days to comply with the new collective bargaining agreement.
Perrilloux believes Notre Dame coaches have used cameras as a teaching aid for their quarterbacks.
“It can get shaky because you are dropping back and your shoulders are squaring and you are going to from here to here and back to here,” Perrilloux said in discussing how a quarterback would go through his progressions on a pass play.
“It can get kind of wobbly because your head is on a swivel and you’re trying to see both safeties and whether they are blitzing and who’s hot,” he added. “You’re trying to see the safeties and whether it’s man and bottom-up or top-down. It’s a good deal for them to see if I am going up to down or left to right.”
The Giants are still working out some bugs with the equipment, Coughlin admitted.
“It’s a little dark,” Coughlin said of Friday’s practice video. “It’s not quite as clear as I hoped.”
Coughlin said there isn’t any thought of expanding the use of the camera to veteran quarterbacks Eli Manning, Sage Rosenfels and David Carr, but he said that might be a consideration in the offseason.
Perrilloux said the audio component of the camera allows the coaches to hear whether he is correctly identifying the middle linebacker on plays or making the right adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
“They (the coaches) wanted to make sure the quarterbacks are seeing the same things the quarterbacks are being taught,” Perrilloux said. “I think it is a real good tool to use as far as the quarterbacks coming out and the young guys. Things are moving fast and they want to be sure you’re looking at the right area.”
Perrilloux said the camera sometimes can give the wrong impressive because quarterbacks sometimes turn their head one way and glance in another direction to mislead defenders.
“But as far as when we go from 1 to 2 to 3 on our base area reads, they would like to see whether you are going 1 to 2 to 3, and the camera will move with your head,” Perrilloux said.
The Giants will have some things to look at Saturday night. Perrilloux threw two interceptions: picked off by cornerback Michael Coe near the right sideline, and by linebacker Phillip Dillard over the middle.
The Giants have been a leader in using technology in football. In the 1950s, they were one of the first teams to photograph plays during the game and send the pictures down to the field to help quarterback Charlie Conerly read opposing defenses.