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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Can you hear me now?

That's what San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman felt like he kept asking quarterback Alex Smith on his headset last season.

While the NFL's coach-to-quarterback radio connection has been a part of the game for three decades, the league has not always been on the cutting edge of technology.

Roman says there was one occasion in a critical game situation when his headset was picking up conversations among Southwest Airlines pilots.

Such scenarios might soon be a thing of the past.

The NFL is switching from the old analog system coaches used to relay plays to their quarterbacks and launching a network that uses digital technology.

The system was tested during the preseason and Pro Bowl last year before getting rolled out in every NFL stadium permanently this year.

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Sports Writer