The folks at WSB-TV likely knew what they were doing when breathlessly reporting that Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber‘s “playbook” was stolen in Atlanta. And if for some reason they didn’t, well, they benefited unintentionally from the clicks harvested by the suggestion that someone in Falcons country had gotten their hands on a division rivals cache of plays.
The truth about the situation is that the playbook wasn’t the playbook but a tablet that previously had last year’s playbook on it and that eventually would have had this year’s playbook on it but that currently had no playbook on it. The tablet contained only scouting video.
A team official told Jenna Laine of ESPN that the Bucs wiped the tablet clean on Saturday, and there was no confidential information on it. So as team-issued equipment goes, Barber’s tablet was no more consequential to the Buccaneers’ strategic interests than a football or a pair of cleats. Which makes the situation a far cry from when Ricky Williams lost his Nick Saban-issued playbook during a 2005 preseason visit to Pittsburgh.