Security around the Super Bowl is understandably air-tight, even for the team practices. Many NFL teams have been using drones in order to film practices, though this week with security tighter and teams more paranoid than ever, if one was spotted that would set some alarm bells off. And wouldn’t you know it, NFL security grounded a drone that was hovering over Falcons practice this week.
“With the field situated next to a residential area abutting the Rice campus, there was extra security between the edge of the field (with a fence and high hedges) and the neighborhood, so the Falcons could feel secure running a practice as though they were at their home facility. There was only one brief security heads-up: Security officers grounded a drone that was sent airborne by one of the residents in the neighborhood on Thursday.”
Your knee-jerk reaction to this story is probably, “the Patriots are at it again”. When Dan Quinn was the Seahawks defensive coordinator two years ago, a story emerged that the Seahawks were warned by other teams to watch out for the Pats spying on their practices, because everyone in the NFL is pretty paranoid, and of course it’s the Pats. Drones are also really cheap and easy to operate. So easy, in fact, that the drone pilot wasn’t someone related to the Patriots, but instead, a local resident.
There was no indication of how long the drone was flying over Falcons practice, who the resident flying the drone was, or whether the Falcons were spooked by its presence. But with NFL teams as paranoid as they are with regards to keeping everything secret, it’d be a shock if they weren’t at least a little unnerved.
No drones are allowed to fly within 35 miles of NRG Stadium tonight from 4 pm local to midnight, for obvious security reasons.