FOXBORO -- Sounds like it wasn't a one-time issue when Bill Belichick spiked his Microsoft Surface on the sidelines during his team's loss to the Bills in Week 4. He's done with them. For good.
During a conference call on Tuesday, the Patriots coach was asked about his team's inability to use some of its communications systems on the sidelines during Sunday's win over the Bengals. He went right after the tablets.
"As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets," Belichick said. "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. I just can’t take it anymore."
Sometimes there are certain topics where it seems as though Belichick simply needs to get something off of his chest. Tuesday's conference call was one of those times, as Belichick's answer stretched for over five minutes and over 700 words.
He spoke about how the phone communication system or the coach-to-player systems all fail "on a regular basis." It could be due to any number of parts that are faulty and it could occur in any type of game, at any time of year, Belichick explained.
"I would just say there are problems in every game," he said. "There were problems last week but there were problems the week before that, too. Some are worse than others . . . Overall there is a lot of complexity to the technology. There is complexity to multiple systems, and there are a lot of failures."
Belichick credited team IT specialist Dan Famosi for doing everything within his power to help fix whatever problems pop up, but his access is limited because it is league equipment, and Belichick hinted that there are times when it seems like the league could be more prompt in its response to technological issues.
"I don’t know how much urgency there is . . . from the league standpoint," Belichick 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. The degrees aren’t always the same but we’re usually dealing with something."
One thing Belichick won't be dealing with any longer: Those blue hand-held tablets.
"For me personally, it’s a personal decision, I’m done with the tablets," he said. "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."