Count New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick among those who like the convenience of sideline tablets for easier browsing through the still photos used during games.
That is, Belichick likes the convenience of those tablets … when they work.
The Patriots coach told Boston.com there were problems in their preseason opener Thursday night where the tablets kept losing their network connection. That left New England with nothing to look at.
“The tablets have the ability to hold all the pictures in one tablet so you can kind of scroll through them,” Belichick said. “It’s 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.
“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.”
Belichick said the tablets in the press box worked fine, because they weren’t dependent upon a wireless connection.
The Patriots played Thursday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., but Belichick reiterated that his team wasn’t the only one that had problems.
“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. I’d just say the way that it comes on the tablets and it’s all together and easier to access is the plus side of it and I’d say so far, overall, being able to count on it being all connected and working right is an issue we’re working through.”
Perhaps the NFL needs to get with its official wireless service sponsor (can you hear me now?) and pump up the bandwidth.