Drone views don't pique Caldwell's interest

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and the team head out to the field for the first day of Lions training camp.

Allen Park — As the Detroit Lions conducted the team’s first training camp practice, a drone hummed about the field, recording some of the action.

No, it wasn’t an NFC North rival sneaking an uninvited look, it was part of a project for the team’s website. And while the coaching staff doesn’t have immediate plans for the footage, Jim Caldwell wouldn’t rule out employing the technology down the road.

“That’s actually not for our football portion of it, it’s more for the media side more than anything else,” Caldwell said. “But there may be some usage here down the road, you never know.”

Drone usage is becoming increasingly popular in sports, with Premier League teams using them to film practices dating back to 2015. But they haven’t caught on in football beyond the high school ranks. 

NFL teams already tape practices from above and Caldwell doesn’t believe a drone would offer any unique insight.

“Maybe it shows you something that you can’t see, but I doubt it from all the different camera angles we have — two end zones, sidelines,” he said. “I mean, it’s about as good as you get.”

That’s not to say Caldwell is opposed to innovation. He’s long utilized a camera atop a ladder positioned behind the line to capture the field from the field from the quarterback’s perspective. 


Twitter: @justin_rogers