Report: Concern emerges over IT employees in NFL homes

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It’s not quite carnage in the streets, but there’s a concern regarding the presence of IT workers in NFL homes.

That’s the latest from Adam Schefter of ESPN. He reports that a “concern has emerged in recent days” regarding “certain coaches and front-office staffers [being] reluctant to have their IT employees in their homes for fear of the virus spreading.” The reverse also applies; Schefter says that some IT employees are concerned about going into homes to equip them for the draft.

It’s a legitimate concern, and frankly it’s an issue that potentially violates “stay at home” orders and other applicable local restrictions. If a given state or county has no exception allowing NFL employees to go to team facilities for the purposes of working the draft, there’s also likely no exception allowing IT employees to leave their own homes and enter the homes of others.

If this concern has legs (and it quite possibly does), it’s another consequences of the league’s ready-fire-aim approach to conducting the draft. While there are real benefits for the millions who are stuck at home having something to anticipate for the next two weeks followed by something to spend three days distracted by, there are real challenges to compliance with the rules that are in place in many of the area where the NFL does business.

How this one gets resolved remains to be seen. But even if the IT employees ultimately don’t enter homes, the NFL will find a way to get draft done, even if it comes down to 32 tin cans with string leading to 345 Park Avenue.

46 responses to “Report: Concern emerges over IT employees in NFL homes

  1. If millions of students (and their parents) can figure out how to do online classes, surely these 32 guys can figure out how to do a draft without massive IT support

  2. No need for IT in homes — only one camera in one home or location per team — the rest of the staff can be connected by Skype conference — I would not let any unknown person into my home — it’s a sterile zone and we’ve been careful to maintain as such.

  3. The IT guys can mail the equipment to the coach and provide instruction on how to set it up. Then the league can run as many mock drafts as it takes to make sure everyone is set.

    This is not a big deal. Companies deal with at-home IT issues all the time.

  4. They’re going to need IT guys at every house to assure that people can dial into a call? If you get dropped you either just need to reconnect or your Internet is down and an IT guy probably isn’t going to be able to magically fix that. They would (presumably) be dialing in on their cell phones so the Internet going down wouldn’t drop them from the audio portion.

  5. Just test everyone involved. Major sports leagues don’t have a problem getting tests done, unlike average Americans.

  6. IT techs are considered essential employees in most communities across the country. Telephone and Internet connections are essential and these techs are already going into homes to install or repair.

  7. As long as they have PPE on then I do not see a problem. Masks and gloves, six feet apart etc… People are still grocery shopping in masses without masks and the grocery store workers are still working. I dont see a problem with an IT guy in each room. Being a bit ridiculous about ONE extra guy in the room. jmo

  8. Have they not heard of simple video conferencing sites like WEBEX? As long as you have a phone and a computer BING! if you want video of each other that can be done through your laptop camera or an aux camera to your PC.

  9. But now who will deliver & connect the tin cans and wire?

    Maybe we can bring back trained carrier pigeons…
    …of course the pigeons better not be able to carry any viruses.

  10. Come on its not that hard to set up. Probably can do it from most smart phones. Was it John Harbaugh who complained?

  11. The NFL has a problem that any 6th grade students can figure out in 2 days. I’m not surprised.

  12. I CALL BS.

    Who specifically has voiced “concern”? And are you telling me Schefter has a network of IT employees he regularly talks to, that he can get the inside info on these “concerns”? Right.

    Another “report” manufactured by the media quoting themselves and passing it off as “NFL insiders”.

  13. C’mon Man,……
    Ya know,… you could get hit by a car walking across the street too.
    I think they’re overthinking this.

  14. Hope they don’t use 5G cuz that stuff will… uh, make your internet faster?

  15. Zoom accounts are being hacked at an alarming rate. Are those IT people there to set up a coaches video conferencing or to hack into another teams feed. If this goes off with out a major glitch, I will be surprised.

  16. Internet = Essential. I work for an ISP. This is so overblown, for starters these teams are well budgeted and they are going to have mulitple backup Circuits in place, and they will assuredly be set up on secure, SLA Backed Private Line, with redundant bandwidth. The chances of anything going down is slim and none. Actually none. This is fodder for media types and non tech people that have no clue. The Sys Admin for these teams and their local ISP will ensure continuity. This is a non issue

  17. So basically a majority of the people running the draft for the NFL teams are buying into the mass hysteria? I don’t know if I buy that nonsense..

  18. It truly is hilarious when all these highly education business professionals are made to look like total idiots, incapable of making conference calls without the help of in-person IT support.

  19. If they are not qualified to use a computer , should they be making draft picks .

  20. Because someone is hoping to get the coronavirus and sue the NFL for big bucks.

  21. If the TV coverage does not include the old dial-up connection authentication sound before announcing the pick they have missed an opportunity

  22. 1. Buy some laptops

    2. Install software

    3. Test each laptop

    4. Deliver laptops to team front office

    5. test the connectivity

    6. It’s Miller time.

  23. It sounds like some NFL higher ups are suddenly concerned about what the IT staff might find on their home computers.

  24. Have AOL set up a live virtual draft.

    Have the coaches dial into to their AOL accounts.

    If they can’t figure it out from there they shouldn’t be in the position they’re in.

  25. Why on earth do they need IT people to draft online? They’re acting like it’s 2000, not 2020

  26. packers291 says:
    April 8, 2020 at 4:36 pm
    The IT guys can mail the equipment to the coach and provide instruction on how to set it up. Then the league can run as many mock drafts as it takes to make sure everyone is set.

    This is not a big deal. Companies deal with at-home IT issues all the time.


    Frankly none of these alarm-raising posts are highlighting any big deal at all. I think sometimes someone forgets what decade we’re in. Or century.

  27. I can see it now, they pick the guy they want and he turns out to be a bust. Then they will blame the way the draft was conducted but not themselves..

  28. if the WORLD of network news can run their daily broadcasts without issue. surely 32 locations can be set up with little issue.

  29. If a coach cannot set up a laptop or iPad with Zoom, Facebook live or whatever other simple software is required to communicate, then they are not qualified to be a coach. It isn’t rocket science!

  30. PPE = no issue here. Oh and if these people are NOT ill before meeting, there should be nothing to spread. Take everyone’s temp, have the IT guys wear PPE. This should stop them from picking it up or spreading it in the home. Badabing, badaboom.

    Also at the end of the day STOP CRYING. I work in media and our technical people have been all up inside people’s homes to ensure they can work remotely (while we technical people have to go work).

  31. Microsoft Teams FTW. Live document collaboration while simultaneously voice and text chatting. Microsoft has effed a lot of stuff up, but Teams is not one. Pretty much all orgs that are worth their weight are using Teams. C’mon NFL, get your stuff together.

  32. I am somewhat fascinated, and at the same time confused, by the number of NFL writers, fans, etc, that are trying their damnedest to make sure the draft doesnt happen.

    First, there is nothing sports related happening, nothing. I have watched professional ax throwing, and professional cornhole in the last 2 weeks. WTF, give me something.

    Second, fans will REALLY enjoy being able to have some degree of normal. Fans that always watch the draft will get 3 days or “normal”. Fans that dont normally watch, might tune in for a change because its at least real

    Third, the draft is also going to serve as a telethon to raise money for COVID-19. Are we really wanting to take that away?

  33. I have a woman in my office near retirement that doesn’t have an iPhone or a tablet or anything like that and was scared to death to set up working from home over the technology and looking stupid or just not getting anything to work. Her and her husband figured it out in a couple hours while on the phone with IT, I’m sure these guys can too.

  34. What is the concern?

    Use a full face shield to protect the eyes, use a mask to cover the mouth and nose, and have a steady supply of latex gloves. All of the technology can be installed weeks in advance and sanitized. And it takes no special effort to have two simultaneous internet connections (even by two different companies) with routers and modems assigned to two different computers for redundancy. And then this situation can be repeated at other team officials’ homes for further redundancy. Having such redundancy also minimizes the need for IT being on premises. If system one goes down, go to system two. If locale one is hit by a storm, use locale 2 that is not in close proximity. This is not rocket science.

  35. How will trades be discussed between teams?
    How will the trades be approved by the NFL in real time?
    Will every coach/scout have a virtual big board in their house?

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