Bill Belichick is 'done with' tablets, says sideline technology fails every week

Bill Belichick is perpetually more prepared than everyone else, but that doesn't mean he loves technology. In fact, the Patriots coach probably hates it, at least as it pertains to the NFL game.

During a recent game, Belichick unleashed his fury on the Microsoft tablet coaches are allowed to use on the sidelines of games.

And asked about technology during a weekly press conference, he went on a five-minute rant complaining about all the issues coaches deal with.

There are many people who believe it's very convenient that headsets give out in and around New England on a frequent basis (last year Mike Tomlin said it's "always the case" when the Steelers play in Gillette Stadium). But according to Belichick it's actually something they deal with on a frequent basis as well.

On the tablets, he just can't deal with the lack of consistency anymore:

As you probably noticed, I'm done with the tablets. I've given them as much time as I can give them. They're just too undependable for me. I'm going to stick with pictures as several of our other coaches do as well because there just isn't enough consistency in the performance of the tablets, so I just can't take it anymore.

The headsets really bother him too, especially because, it sounds like, Belichick would love to work with them on a weekly basis and try to iron out the kinks, but the NFL issues them to teams on a weekly basis rather than teams possessing them throughout the week.

To the giant blockquote machine!

The other communication systems involve the press box to the coaches on the field, and then the coach on the field, the signal caller, or the coach-to-quarterback, coach-to-signal caller system. Those fail on a regular basis. There are very few games that we play, home or away, day, night, cold, hot, preseason, regular season, postseason, it doesn't make any difference; there are very few games where there aren't issues in some form or fashion with that equipment. And again, there's a lot of equipment involved, too. There are headsets in the helmets, there's the belt pack, that communication, there's a hookup or connection to internet service or that process and so forth with the coaches and the press box. So, there are a number of pieces of equipment, there is a number of connections that are on different frequencies. Again, not that I know anything about this but as it has been explained to me there are a lot of things involved and inevitably something goes wrong somewhere at some point in time. I would say weekly we have to deal with something. Dan Famosi is our IT person and he does a great job of handling those things. This is all league equipment so we don't have it. I mean we use it but it isn't like we have the equipment during the week and we can work with it and 'OK, this is a problem. Let's fix this.' That's not how it works. 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. There were problems last week but there were problems the week before that, too. Some are worse than others. Sometimes both teams have them, sometimes one team has them and the other doesn't have them. There's an equity rule that's involved there on certain aspects of the communication system but not on all aspects meaning what happens on one side then the other team has to have the same. If ours are down then theirs has to be down and vice versa, but it's only true in certain aspects of the communication system; not everything. Overall there is a lot of complexity to the technology. There is complexity to multiple systems and there are a lot of failures, and so I know on our end Dan does a great job to fix those as quickly as possible. He has very limited access. I don't know how much urgency there is on the other part from the league standpoint. However much urgency there is for them to have everything right, I don't know, I'm not involved with that. But yeah, it was a problem last week. It's basically a problem every week. The degrees aren't always the same but we're usually dealing with something.

Whew. That sounds pretty annoying. But, again, it's the tablets that put it over the top for Belichick.

But as far as the tablet goes, I mean there was an experiment in a couple of the preseason games. It was one preseason game. We actually had two because it was our home game and Carolina's home game where we had video on the tablets. But for me personally, it's a personal decision, I'm done with the tablets. I'll use the paper pictures from here on because I've given it my best shot. I've tried to work through the process but it just doesn't work for me and that's because there's no consistency to it. Long answer to a short question; sorry.

The good news is he's got a new grandkid! Belichick announced a "roster addition" with his son Steve welcoming granddaughter "Blakely Rose" to the family (and Bill cited Kevin Durant by calling Steve's wife Jen 'the real MVP).

Maybe Blakely can one day teach Belichick how to use all the technology. Including the InstantFace.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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