Green Dot On Helmets Of NFL Players

By Shraddha Rai / 5 June 2023 04:49 AM

Being the linebacker of New England Patriots, Qualin Dont'a Hightower is wearing a helmet with green sticker
Being the linebacker of New England Patriots, Qualin Dont'a Hightower is wearing a helmet with green sticker( Source : twitter )

Green dot on helmets of NFL players represents the helmets installed with a communication medium. This allows the coach to convey a message to the players.

It is a one-way communication technology that permits the players to hear their coach's instructions through radio signals. Players cannot reply, and can only listen to the coaching staff.

It began in 1956 when radio devices and several other iterations were introduced. That year, two Cleveland Browns fans named John Campbell and George Sarales developed the prototype.

After the success of the prototype, they, along with the help of coach Paul Brown, invented the first quarterback helmet radio for the Cleveland Browns.

They saw improvement, as the team's ability increased. The need for timeouts was reduced significantly. But NFL banned it for around 40 years. In 1994, the league officially gave permission for all teams to incorporate such a system.

Currently, every NFL team uses it and it is the only league that allows speakers to be within the helmet.

What Is The Green Dot On NFL Helmets?

NFL green dot on back of helmet is a small sticker with an NFL logo. The logo differentiates quarterback and defensive linemen with live helmets on.

This way, the coaches, referees, and other NFL personnel can easily recognize them. Live helmets authorize the coaches to speak to the player, but the players cannot give a response.

It is a simple way to ensure that all players are on the same page during the game. This scheme helps to put the players in the best position.

Before such technology was invented, the coaches used to use several gestures and signals to communicate with their team. But it was not so effective.

Usually, the quarterback from the offensive side puts on this special headgear. On the other hand, on the defensive side of the ball, usually, linemen or safety has it.

People may get confused that it is a brand logo because it is a sticker, but it is not. It is also a sign that the players have been assigned the role of team captain.

Green helmets have been a boon to the National Football League's team. It has aided in making the game more interesting.

In the meantime, the players gracing the field are also taking full advantage of the system. Coaches, who can see the game live, can easily make adjustments by talking to the players.

As linebacker, Nakobe Dean will be wearing the helmet with green dot while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles this season
As linebacker, Nakobe Dean will be wearing the helmet with green dot while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles this season( Source : twitter )

What Does The Green Dot On NFL Helmets Mean?

A green dot on NFL helmets means it consists of a receiver and speaker that allows the coach on the sideline to communicate with the ones wearing it. Simply, it's a mark that a radio signal technology is on the athlete's headgear.

The signal is cut off just before the snap takes place. Or, it is shut off after the play clock has only 15 seconds left. During the plays, the radio is shut off but gain turned on during the play clock.

NFL officials are responsible for turning on and off the signals. This means that there are strict rules and several restrictions on this.

Green Dot On QB Helmet

Green dot on QB helmet suggests that quarterbacks can receive play calls from the coaches standing on the sideline. The headset of the QB has a speaker system.

It lets the quarterbacks take instructions from their coaches through the microphone radio set. From the offense team, it is always the QB who is given the opportunity to wear it as stated by NBC Sports.

The reason is that QBs are the leaders in the field. Their understanding of the game, direction, and control largely influences the final result of the match.

If we look back at history, only QBs from the offensive side were allowed to use this helmet communication system. Today, even defensive teams are allowed to use it.

3 quarterbacks will put on the helmet with the radio receiver, but only one can be present on the field wearing it.

George Ratterman of the Cleveland Browns team is the first player and the quarterback in the league to use such headgear.

After 3 more games, this technology was forbidden to use on account of unfair advantage to the opposing team. Later, this technology came back into the league in 1994.

Linebackers With Green Dot NFL Helmet

Green dot linebackers are provided with the radio signal communication device from the defensive team. The linebacker performs the role of play caller on the field.

In the defense team, either the middle linebacker or inside linebacker leads the game. They organize the defense, take care of the pre-snap adjustments in addition to making sure that all defensive players are in line.

So, linebackers are given the green dot NFL helmet. Like in the case of the QBs, LB also receives direction from their coaches.

After that, they relay the information to their teammates. It is time-saving as well because the players do not need to run toward the sideline to meet their coaches for commands.

Communication efficiency is improved greatly which braces the defensive players for the offensive plays from their opposite team.

Although the quarterbacks have been allowed to put on such special headsets since the very beginning, only after 2008, the defensive players were given this opportunity.

Deion Jones, the American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons at the training camp wearing the special helmet
Deion Jones, the American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons at the training camp wearing the special helmet( Source : twitter )

This happened after the NFL players experimented with the headgear installed with the radio signals during the Organized Team Activities (OTA) and mini-camps in 2008.

David Thornton remains one of the first linebackers to put on a helmet equipped with such NFL technology. He used to play for the Tennessee Titans on the defense team.

Thornton suggested that it was a good move that brought equity in the American gridiron because the offense had been using this technology for too long.

So, he wore a helmet equipped with a Motorola transmitter. Nevertheless, there were stern rules that had to be followed.

Two defensive players on each team could have the live helmet. But, only one could remain on the field at a time.

On the sideline, during the pregame warmups, or on the field, there is no place where two athletes from the same team are allowed to wear the live helmets, even for a moment.

In case of malfunctions, or any mishappenings, the backup players' helmet could be used.

Here is a list of linebackers who have worn the green dot helmet:

  1. Fred Warner - San Francisco 49ers
  2. Roquan Smith -  Chicago Bears
  3. Logan Wilson - Cincinnati Bengals
  4. Tremaine Edmunds -  Buffalo Bills
  5. Alex Anzalone - Detroit Lions
  6. Shaq Thompson - Carolina Panthers
  7. Demario Davis - New Orleans Saints
  8. Christian Kirksey - Houston Texans
  9. Micah Parsons -  Dallas Cowboys
  10. Anthony Barr - Minnesota Vikings

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