Earlier this week, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick put the NFL’s use of Microsoft’s Surface tablets on blast. In a long-winded diatribe about consistency, Belichick explained that much of the equipment the National Football League uses has been less than reliable but it’s the inability of Microsoft Surface to render pictures of previous plays reliably that pushed him over the edge.
As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do, as well, because there just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can’t take it anymore.”
However, not everyone in the league shares Belichick’s frustration with the consistency of modern technology. Across the country in Microsoft’s backyard, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sings a different tune about the use of the Surface on the NFL sidelines, according to a report from the Seattle Times.
I don’t know if it’s because we are so close to home base but, shoot, I think the quality of our stuff has been great,” Carroll said.
Carroll along with his coach staff find the Microsoft Surface a helpful tool on their sidelines, allowing coaches to make their adjustments, talk through the last series of plays and what happened during a previous set of downs to make further adjustments throughout the game.
Granted, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the team plays in the companies backyard, so saying nice things about the use of the Surface should be received with a bit of skeptical salt.
Nevertheless, receiver Doug Baldwin points out a reality lost in Belichick’s very public return to paper.
I think it’s easier for our staff to have the tablets because they can just shoot it to the tablet instead of having to go print it out,” Baldwin said. “And it also saves paper.”
While Belichick and Carroll may differ on the level of usefulness the Surface plays on the sideline of an NFL game, the reality is, the Surface is a reusable resource that isn’t beholden to the elements like paper printouts used to be. Perhaps, as newer stadiums are built with better wifi implementations taking priority, the Surface will finally feel at home to all coaches in the league.