In light of Bill Belichick's comments that he's "done'' using Microsoft Surface tablets during games, Seattle coach Pete Carroll launched a little pre-emptive defense of the devices on Wednesday.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll quickly brushed off the first question that came his way during his regular weekly press conference Wednesday to instead address the burning issue of the day.
“I was really going to talk to you about the tablets,” Carroll said with a smile.
It was a reference to the other big rant of the NFL week, New England coach Bill Belichick declaring that he is done with using Microsoft Surface tablets during games after smashing one on the sidelines in a contest against Buffalo earlier this season.
In a lengthy answer Tuesday, Belichick said: “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.”
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That compelled Carroll to come to the defense of a local company co-founded by Seahawks owner Paul Allen.
“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.
Microsoft became the NFL’s official supplier of tablets in 2013, with the devices largely replacing the use of paper pictures to help coaches and players look at plays during games. Tablets contain only still shots. The NFL experimented with letting teams use video during the preseason but only pictures are allowed during the regular season.
Interestingly, Carroll is not much of a user of tablets or pictures, leaving that for his assistant coaches.
“No, I’m not one that looks at tablets,” Carroll said before adding with another smile “but the fellas that do love them.”
One of those is receiver Doug Baldwin, who said he meets with receivers coach Dave Canales after every series to look at plays on the tablet.
“He’ll go through the pictures with us and it makes it a lot easier for us to make our adjustments,to talk through the series and what happened previously on the field so we can make our adjustments,” Baldwin said. “It’s been a great help to us.”
Since the tablets simply show the same pictures that the team used to view on paper, the only real difference is the speed in getting the images.
“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.”
Asked about the tablets, cornerback Richard Sherman answered “do you want a Belichick response?”
“We look at the pictures as much as you need to look at the pictures and see what you need to see,” Sherman said. “But not any more than we used the paper that we used to have. You look at the plays, you take note, and you go back out there.”
Several Seahawks defensive players said they feel in-game adjustments favor the offense, so they’re fine if video is never implemented.
“We have to react to everything,” said linebacker K.J. Wright. “They can just run their plays, but we have to react, and by that time it’ll be too late. So we can’t have video.”