Robotic tackling dummies reducing football injuries - WNEM TV 5

Robotic tackling dummies reducing football injuries

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
CLARE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

New technology on the gridiron was designed with safety in mind.

They are odd at first sight, but the roving dummies are actually reducing injuries and cutting down on concussions.

The dummies, known as MVP Drive, are already in use by 15 NFL teams and dozens of colleges. They are made right in Michigan.

"It's a great feeling of course, absolutely," said John Green, national sales manager for Rogers Athletic Company.

The business is based in the Clare County community of Farwell. It manufactures the mobile tackling dummies.

The new innovation is making its presence felt on football fields across the country. It's all in an effort to increase player safety by reducing the amount of live tackling in practice.

"It's going to be a real coach's friend, no doubt about it," Green said.

The dummy can accelerate to 16 miles per hour and stop on a dime.

"So pretty much game speed and when you tackle it, it pops back up. So you're drills and your practice efficiency are really sped up through that," Green said.

Patrick Russell suited up to demonstrate the pounding the dummy can take.

"It was a lot of fun. It's a lot like hitting a person that's for sure," Russell said.

He said it's great to work on tackling without having to worry about putting a teammate on injured reserve.

"Knowing that you're not going to hurt your other guy feels pretty good. So you can hit it pretty hard and there's no issues," Russell said.

As for Green, he said on the cool gadgets will run you about $8,000. He said teams from NFL all the way down to pee wee football are using it. 

"Everything that we do here at Rogers Athletic is geared around player safety. That's one of our mantras. We have been making the game safe for years and years and years," Green said.

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