The Wall Street Journal ran an excellent piece yesterday detailing some of the struggles that older players and coaches have had thus far while transitioning from gigantic bound paper playbooks to smaller, sleeker tablets. Texans safety Danieal Manning, who spent the off-season as a Cincinnati Bengal, was among those who expressed their frustrations.
When 32-year-old Houston Texans safety Danieal Manning got his tablet playbook in the off-season, he saw some advantages. Coaches' adjustments would instantly show up on the tablets, for instance, and it was sleeker than an old-style playbook stuffed with hundreds of paper pages.
But a problem kept occurring. Manning would show up at team meetings, ready to work, tablet in hand. "I open it, I'm ready to go and then…" he said, staring straight ahead, "the battery is at 33%." In one instance this summer, Manning panicked when he saw the low battery. He started feverishly working to get as much in before the battery went dead all while not tipping off his teammates of his crisis. "I [thought], 'Man, I've got a little bit of battery!' I'm trying to jam as much in as I can," he said. "I'm drawing plays down and I'm doing it as fast as I can."
Manning couldn't find any sockets nearby. His productivity for the rest of the meeting was negligible.
Not knowing the playbook has not been Manning’s only shortcoming so far this season, as just this past weekend he was burned on multiple occasions while taking poor angles to ball carriers. One can only hope that he corrects his mistakes in time for this Sunday’s showdown against the Bills, lest he be out of position against the insanely talented – and insanely fast – Sammy Watkins.
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