Apr 27, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis speaks during the press conference at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
During a televised broadcast of a National Football Game, it's rare that all 22 players are shown during the same frame once a play begins. The camera follows the football, naturally squeezing receivers, tight ends and even running backs off the screen during their routes. And since the camera tracks the football, observers watching the game through the television, are ignorant regarding defensive coverages.
For those that obsess analyzing receivers and defensive backs, it's as much a guessing game as it is over-valuing the result of a play. What if the quarterback is granted 5-6 seconds in the pocket because the pass rush can't pressure the passer, allowing the receiver to improvise his route? Do you blame the defensive back for poor routes? And are you absolutely sure it's the cornerback in man coverage or the safety within an underneath zone that deserves the blame?
Ultimately your best conclusions are based on the result of a play, whether the defensive back intercepts the football, knocks the pass harmlessly to the ground or violently jars the football lose before the reception is established, there's no indication of what's happening in the secondary until the conclusion of that play.
Now. None of that is actually changing. You're still limited to what the live broadcast shows you, following the football while taking uncomfortable close up shots of player family members between plays.
Yet the NFL shockingly announced in mid-June that the All-22, an angle during a play that shows all 22 players on the field, will be available through their Game Rewind service on the dot com site. Some lost their minds after hearing the announcement. Others were concerned that it would "open a pandora's box."
Not Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. In a quote tweeted by Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Lewis believes that the availability of the All-22 "for the hard core fan is awesome." It's weird. Of the people we believed that would have the biggest reservation (or downright problem) with the public's access of the All-22, it would have been coaches. Perhaps Lewis doesn't see the issue with fans because he doesn't directly speak to most fans regarding the football team. Maybe the media is a different story, arriving at press conferences armed with better information to ask the coach during mid-week.
Either way it is awesome for hardcore fans.