The Detroit Lions earned themselves the dubious “honor” of having the third-most dropped passes in the NFL during 2016 (fifth-highest percentage), only the Raiders and Jets had bigger cases of the “dropsies” last season.
Of 580 targets, 28 were dropped. It certainly didn’t help them that they dropped four passes alone in their playoff loss at Seattle. Now, the Lions are turning to strobe technology in an effort to combat it.
The glasses, which head coach Jim Caldwell referred to as “flashing glasses,” essentially work like a strobe light, alternately obstructing vision and then restoring it. Caldwell spoke after practice on Tuesday about the use of the new technology, and his hopes of reducing the mistakes moving forward.
“They cut off your vision for a moment and reignite it where you can see,” Caldwell said. “They make you really concentrate a little bit harder.”
“Some of our guys are using those [glasses] that cut off your vision for a moment and when you reignite it, you can see and make you really concentrate a little bit harder,” he further explained. “We’re doing a lot of different things that way. [Wide receivers coach] Robert Prince and some of those guys that are doing a great job with our guys getting them ready are going to make certain we don’t let some of those opportunities slip by us like we did last year.”
Nike’s Sparq Vapor Strobe glasses have been used by other NFL teams, as well as other sports as well to boost hand-eye coordination. While Caldwell isn’t hoping for the new technology to fully solve the problem, it’s a step in the right direction.
“The proof is in the pudding,” he said. “When we get to the point where we’re dropping maybe one pass every eight or nine days, then I’m going to tell you that it’s working for us. But right now I couldn’t tell you that.
“I do know that guys are working at it and the more you catch it, the more you work at it, you’re going to see some improvement.”