Bill Belichick said last week that the tablets malfunctioned on their sideline during the Pats pre-season game against the Redskins. Belichick cited a shaky Wi-Fi connection as the cause.
“Those are wireless tablets down on the field, and so if the wireless — or Wi-Fi — isn’t working or something happens, you have nothing, you have 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,” Belichick said.
Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports that the tablets are intended to replace binders that are sent down from the coaches' booth that contain pages of printed pictures.
Supposedly, the Patriots-Skins game wasn't the only game where something like this happened, so before anyone starts getting on Belichick for complaining, just keep that in mind. Belichick did, however, say the tablets were easy to use.
“The tablets were a good experience for all of us,” Belichick said. “We’ve never used those during a game. It’s always been pictures, basically on a piece of printed paper off a printer. You could write on them, and they’re paper copies. The tablets have the ability to hold all the pictures on the one tablet, so you can kind of scroll through them — certainly much more concise, and I would say the quality of the tablets is good, the clarity of the pictures and all that is good — better than what we had.”
So he's in favor of it, as I think most people around the league would be these days. The world at large is shifting to a more digital format, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks, months, years, etc. That being said, I am also in favor of tablets being on the sidelines as opposed to the traditional binders.
However, as anyone with wireless Internet knows, connections can come and go no matter how strong one is. Obviously the NFL is testing the waters with this and adjustments are going to need to be made, but when and how remain to be seen (we know what the "what" is already).
My biggest concern with having tablets on the sidelines is that a coaching staff may rely on them too much, and if a connection goes out completely or is not strong enough for whatever reason, what happens then? Has anyone thought of an alternative? Are the binders going away completely? I don't think it'd make sense to completely get rid of binders all together mostly for that reason. Wouldn't you agree, Mitt Romney?
What do you make of the Patriots' tablets malfunctioning during the game last week? Follow me on Twitter -@JesseGaunce
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