Bill Belichick has a problem with technology.
This spring the NFL reached a $400 million deal with Microsoft to make its Surface tablets the exclusive sideline technology of the NFL sideline, allowing teams to browse through game photographs on devices with a dedicated Wi-Fi connection and no ability to browse the internet or use other programs.
The New England Patriots coach, who said he doesn’t like using the internet much in his private life, admitted that the NFL’s new sideline technology can be useful. But at the same time, Belichick said the problems involved are just too much right now for him to fully back the new technology.
Those problems were on display Thursday, when the Patriots took on the Washington Redskins. Bill Belichick said the Wi-Fi connection was spotty at best, often rendering the tablets useless.
“The issues are those are wireless tablets down on the field, and so if the wireless — or Wi-Fi — isn’t connected or isn’t working or something happens, then you’ve got nothing. You’ve got zero. So that happened in our game, and it’s happened in other games from my understanding of talking to other people that have been involved.”
Bill Belichick said he could figure out a solution, with tablets only for coaches in the press box, where they can be connected to a hard line to the internet as a backup.
“In the press box they’re good, on the field, they haven’t — to my knowledge, I don’t have a big sample here but with the people that I’ve talked to — there haven’t been a lot of instances where they’ve functioned for the entirety of the game,” Belichick said. “At some point, they were down and they came back. I think there are some plusses to them, I think there are some things that we need to get used to in terms of using the product…. It’s really no new information, it’s not like we’re getting a new picture or a new view or a new anything we haven’t seen before.”
But Bill Belichick said he isn’t anti-technology, and supports the use of tablets on the sidelines — as long as the Wi-Fi connection is strong enough.