Often unable to be bothered for a multi-sentence comment on the events of a game during a postgame press conference, Bill Belichick used more than five minutes of his Tuesday presser responding to one question that didn’t have anything to do with the Patriots’ performance.
The 64-year-old coach no longer plans to have his staff use the Microsoft Surface Pro tablets due to his team’s rampant issues with them. The NFL signed a $400 million deal with Microsoft in 2014, so that’s the league’s only usable sideline tablet. However, coaches aren’t required to use them, so Belichick plans to return the Pats to the picture printouts due to what he perceives as a lack of reliability with the devices.
“I’m done with the tablets. I’ve given them as much time as I can give them,” Belichick said in a five-minute, 25-second response. “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.
” … 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.”
Belichick was seen smashing a tablet in disgust during a game earlier this season, so seeing them in future Patriots games could be a stretch. As expected, Microsoft responded to the coach’s assessment of the products.
“We respect coach Belichick’s decision, but stand behind the reliability of Surface,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We continue to receive positive feedback on having Surface devices on the sidelines from coaches, players and team personnel across the league.”
Since the equipment belongs to the league and not the Patriots, Belichick said pregame tests sometimes fail and during games said the problems can range from several different issues.
“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,” the 17th-year Patriots coach said. “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.”