Tackling Robot Aims to Lower Concussions for Bishop Lynch Football

At Bishop Lynch High School, the Friars are working to tackle better this spring by taking on a machine.

"It did juke out some of my teammates," said junior offensive lineman Cole Garcia. "It was a lot quicker than I thought."

The MVP – mobile virtual player – is a tackling dummy on wheels designed to absorb hits in players so teammates don't have to.

"The concussions and the effects of that, you really have to think about how we're going to attack this game and teach these kids how to tackle," said Bishop Lynch head football coach Chuck Faucette. "Safety is the number one thing."

That is, if players can catch it.

"It actually runs about 15 miles per hour, which is about a six-second 40 (yard dash)," said Kevin McCloud, general manager of Rogers Athletic, which produces the MVP. "But the best part is it doesn't give you any visual clues. So when it starts and stops, it can really take a player by surprise."

And it's no surprise, with the emphasis on player safety around the country, the MVP is taking off quickly.

"Since the commercial launch at the beginning of March, we've sold over 100 of those," said McCloud. "About 30 percent is to high schools, 30 percent to colleges, and 30 percent to the NFL. So we now have half the NFL with the product."

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