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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 5

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Page 42 of 92

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED OLUME 26, ISSUE 5 43 diagnose but after it, it's as real life as it gets. And that's on purpose. EON co-founder and CEO Brendan Reilly is able to control all of that in the app development process, based on the coach's recommendations. "Some guys are like, 'Make it faster than in real life. I want our guys to have to make quicker decisions than they have to.' We design all those things," said Reilly, whose only Big Ten client is Purdue. "We have the av- erage settings, saying (No.) 88 runs a 4.5 40 and this is how quick he gets to 10 yards. It's artificial intelligence built into software based on the guy that you're putting out there. You also have ability to manipulate that. So that's something coaches gravitate toward." Ultimately, Lester hopes to have 80 plays uploaded — 20 split into four quarters — and, at some point, players likely will start to recognize the right response for that play vs. that defense in that quarter. Eventually, Lester hopes he can shuffle the plays so players can't simply rely on memory for which play comes when. Even if that becomes the case, players still can chal- lenge themselves. Blough said after playing it the first time just to get a feel for how it worked, he decided the next session he would "snap" the ball as soon as the button showed up. That'd give him only seconds to scan the defense before the play started. That's the approach he'll continue to use this summer. "Playing quarterback is incredible because you have to know what all 22 guys are doing. So IDing coverage, knowing where the defense is going to be, gives you a little bit of a competition advantage before you even get the ball in your hands," said Blough, who set a goal to use the program for at least 30 minutes each day this offseason. "So if I can recognize based on things they do, when we watch film and I get all these tips and help- ful hints from coaches and what the defense does, may- be it could increase my completion percentage from 58 to 62. Or 58 to 65. Instead of making decisions right six out of 10 times, now we made them right eight out of 10 or 10 out of 10 in a given period. It all starts with know- ing what they're going to do based on where they're lined up. Then it's like chess. Being able to know what my guys are going to do and how we can defend against it." Say Lester's QBs start memorizing the sequences of plays and the right reads against the defenses. Say the stats he gets after each QB logs into the app and completes each play — it's compatible with their cell phones, so they can play it on their couch at mid- night, if so desired — keep going up and up because they know what's coming. Lester is just fine with that. "The funny thing is they'll realize once they start memorizing them that that's not a bad thing. They start memorizing what they should be doing. 'Oh, this is the one where the Sam comes …' Good. You're right," Les- ter said. "This is the one where they blitz off the back side. This is the way they play Cover 4 and I throw (this certain route). This is the one where they play Cover 2 (against a certain formation) and I throw (another route). This is a good thing. "That's why I wanted the same play over and over again, so they're going through their checklists. That's what will help them be more comfortable. It slows down the more you do it. The whole goal is to get the game to slow down because when it slows down, it becomes fun. But, in the meantime, it's like a blur. That's the whole reason to do it." j

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