In the first quarter of the AFC championship game, CBS reported that the Microsoft tablet computers used by NFL teams on the sideline were not working for the Patriots.
The issue was resolved a short time later with Microsoft releasing a statement saying that it was an issue with the network rather than with the tablets themselves. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy released a statement from the league on Monday saying the same thing.
“Near the end of the 1st quarter, we experienced an infrastructure issue on the Patriots sideline that impacted still photos for the coaching tablets. The issue was identified as a network cable malfunction and was resolved during the 2nd quarter. The issue was not caused by the tablets or the software that runs on the tablets. We have experienced no issues with the tablets this season. Any issues were network related.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the outage during a Monday press conference and said it wasn’t a big deal for the team.
“It is what it is. It is what it is,” Belichick said. “It’s a pretty common problem. We have ways of playing, working through it. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s not like the headsets where the other side is really affected. You deal with what you deal with, and we’ve had it at home, we’ve had it on the road. Other teams have had it. It’s a fairly common problem. That didn’t affect the outcome of the game. I mean, no way, but it’s just part of it. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t.”
The NFL is testing a new wireless communication system for coaches at the Pro Bowl in hopes of avoiding the problems in that area that cropped up at times this season.