Brad Campbell and his team of four play a crucial part as team members of the Seattle Seahawks. As Video Director to the Seahawks, Brad and his crew help prepare the weekly game plans by supplying coaches and players with breakdowns of cut-ups and game footage of upcoming opponents, as well as editing practice footage for coaches and players during the week leading up to each game. “If you were to watch our stuff you would probably find it really boring.”.
However boring, the footage is pivotal in teaching, coaching and strategy. Seahawk players are filmed at specific angles; merged together and broken down into Offense, Defense and Special Teams. Game footage and practices are reviewed. Coaches and players watch opposing teams footage looking to devise very specific strategies on the visible strengths and weaknesses of players. They can instantly see why or how a play succeeded or failed.
A broadcast major from Washington State University, Brad did an internship with the Seahawks after graduating in 1998. At the time he didn’t even realize there was video involved with football training. Thom Fermstad, who was Video Director of the Seahawks for 36 years, needed a guy to go to training camp and shoot practices. Brad volunteered and the following year Fermstad created a position for Brad. Campbell, now in his fourteenth year with the Seahawks, took over as Video Director three years ago.
Coming from a background in tape, everything had to be done exactly right. Coaches and players would have to wait days before being able to view game footage. They used to create DVD’s for players to study themselves and their opponents at the end of the week. Brad credits new technologies being imperative in supporting players and coaches. “We load the games up to their ipad’s so fast that before the plane even takes off, the players and coaches are reviewing and preparing for next weeks game.” Some of the best time for players to study is while traveling, fully utilizing all time available. “This is the most prepared group of players that I have ever been around, and it shows!”
The Video Directors of the league, some who have worked with the NFL over thirty years, are a close group of opponents. “There are a lot of people involved, everyone’s connected.” Having grown up a Seahawks fan, Brad has had to learn to check his fan at the side when working with opposing NFL team support staff. “You have to turn it off because you work closely up in the booth shooting, doing the same job (for opposing teams). We are all real good at helping each other out if someone needs certain footage. You don’t want a competitive advantage, so the league says everybody gets everything, share it all.” However, it’s up to the coaches and players to study and review material.
Campbell attributes the Seahawks organization’s success in that it is a community of highly motivated and competitive team members, with coaches and players always asking what they can do to make things better. “There is no shortage of hard work, everyone is a part of that.” Players come through their offices daily requesting footage to review. “You have to study your opponent and study yourself in a very short amount of time. They are constantly getting and watching material. To be a video guy, you know you’re in the background and you’re happy with that. The players know what we do.”
By Hannah Danforth