clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rival Report 10/19: Bill Belichick eviscerates NFL sideline tablets from Microsoft

New, comments
Mike Stone/Getty Images

Usually New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conferences are pretty boring with the coach being known for his "as little as possible" method of answering questions. However, every once in awhile he will hand out a doozie of a comment. This time that doozie was aimed at the Microsoft Surface sideline tablets being used by the NFL nowadays.

"As you probably noticed, I'm done with the tablets," Belichick said at his weekly press conference. "They're just too undependable for me. I'm going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do, as well, because their just isn't enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can't take it anymore."

That comment was actually just a very brief part of his answer though, he went on for over 5 minutes talking about how he believes the tablets are far too inconsistent for his use. He did bring up a very interesting point though, the teams only get to use the tablet system on game days and there are many problems that can occur within the system that could keep it from working properly.

"We get the equipment the day of the game, or I'd say not the day of the game but a few hours before the game and we test it and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Usually by game time it is working but I would say not always. And then during the game sometimes something happens and it has to be fixed, and first of all, you have to figure out what the problem is. Is it a battery? Is it the helmet? Is it the coaches pack? Is it the battery on the coaches pack? I mean you know, again, it could be one of 15 different things. So I would just say there are problems in every game."

It does seem like it would make it very difficult to get fully used to using the tablets if you are only allowed access to them on game days. It takes time to become familiar with new technology and to become comfortable with it, and identifying problems become easier with more familiarity with the system as well. If the NFL really wants teams to use these tablets they should be part of the team's equipment at all times and not just only available during games.

As far as the multiple different things that could go wrong though, that really is the problem with just about any new technology that has so many facets to a system. That's a hard thing to fix quickly, and the coaches make so many decisions during a game they don't have time to waste. That's why Belichick says he will be using the pictures from now on like he did for so many years before these tablets were introduced.

The league surely isn't very happy with Bill Belichick's rant considering that their partnership with Microsoft nets them hundreds of millions of dollars each year. With that in mind, they quickly have gone about their damage control protocols and have issued a statement on Belichick's rant.

"Microsoft is an integral, strategic partner of the NFL and implementing their technology on our sidelines has increased the efficiency and speed of collaboration between coaches and players to an all-time high,"  the NFL's statement read. "Within our complex environment, many factors can affect the performance of a particular technology either related to or outside of our partner's solutions. We continue to work with all of our partners to ensure the best systems are in place to most effectively assist the clubs in the execution of their game plan."

The NFL says they will work with all of their partners to ensure the best systems are in place, but that is a little naive. Really they will have to settle with working with MOST of their partners because Bill Belichick made it pretty clear he won't be working with them any longer anyway.

You can read Belichick's full statement regarding the Microsoft Tablets below, though be warned it is a massive wall of text!

Patriots' Bill Belichick really, really hates NFL's Microsoft Surface Tablets |
Patriots coach goes on epic rant about unreliability of sideline technology.

Bill Belichick spent five good minutes on why he’s done with NFL’s sideline tablets - The Washington Post
When was the last time Belichick spent five minutes talking about anything?

Microsoft, NFL release statements defending tablets | ProFootballTalk
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said today that he's no longer going to use the Microsoft Surface tablets that the NFL gives to coaches to use on the sidelines, saying he finds them unreliable. But the league and Microsoft say they are proud of the product.

Other stories from around the AFC West

Denver Broncos

Who can lead the 2016 Denver Broncos? - Mile High Report
It’s clear the Denver Broncos need a leader. And as of now, they just don’t have it.

Elway on Osweiler: "A lot of times those deals you don’t make are the best ones" - Mile High Report
Osweiler not signing with the Broncos is the best thing that could have happened to this team.

San Diego Chargers

Mike McCoy, Chargers coming off emotional week - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Before the head coach possibly had his job saved, he lost a close long-time friend.

Chargers use big guns as time (sort of) runs short in stadium effort - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Chargers bring out Philip Rivers, Luis Castillo, Kevin Faulconer for Measure C

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs' challenge: Slow down explosive New Orleans Saints - Kansas City Chiefs Blog- ESPN
A week after subduing an explosive Raiders offense, the Chiefs' defense will face another challenge in the highly-prolific Saints.

Kansas City Chiefs put defensive starters Allen Bailey, Justin March-Lillard on injured reserve | The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Chiefs placed starting defensive lineman Allen Bailey and starting inside linebacker Justin March-Lillard on injured reserve Tuesday, while also signing four players and releasing defensive lineman Nick Williams.

Other stories from around the NFL

The NFL is no longer a quarterback league. It’s an offensive line league. | For The Win
Great pass protection can make a flawed quarterback look like a star.

People aren’t tuning NFL out due to kneeling. People are tuning NFL out because it’s bad. | For The Win
There are too many options, and the quality is down.