Microsoft has NFL stars respond to Coach Belichick's criticism about the Surface Pro

Last week, New England Patriot's coach Bill Belichick announced at a press conference that he was done using tablets and would return to the use of instant cameras to snap opposing teams' offensive and defensive formations during a game. It was back in 2014 when the NFL and Microsoft entered a deal that had the software giant supply the NFL with enough Surface Pro tablets to allow each team to use them during games instead of Polaroid cameras.

Perhaps technology doesn't come easily to Belichick, but his comments at last week's conference had to upset those in Redmond. According to the Coach, there is an issue with the tablets in nearly every game. He pointed out that there is too much equipment involved, such as the belt packs that need to be worn. Additionally, "there’s just no consistency," the future Hall of Fame coach complained.

While upset at the comments, Microsoft employees were not deflated. They called for some current NFL stars to reflect positively on the use of the Surface Pro on NFL sidelines and up in the boxes where some coaches employ the tablet. Among those giving the thumbs up to the Surface Pro are a pair of QBs that we would have on our fantasy team anytime, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. And of course, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was credited with engineering the long drive that resulted in the deal with Microsoft, also had very positive comments about the slate. You can find quotes from all three by clicking on the slideshow.

It seems that while there have been issues every now and then with the tablet, Microsoft's biggest concern is having the Surface Pro incorrectly identified on national television as an Apple iPad in front of millions of viewers.

source: Microsoft via CNET

Related phones

Surface Pro 4
  • Display 12.3" 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Core-i7
  • Storage 1000 GB



1. Unordinary unregistered

Payed advertising to cover up bels remark. Those arent things youd hear come out of their mouths, as in the way they have written/said that. Pure PR team right there. Regardless, tech is great for sports. Bel just needs to catch up to time and ditch the board.

9. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 715; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Maybe it is just a matter of software? I could imagine that Microsoft created a non-intuitive analyzing software that is just not practical to use. Microsoft is well known for this issue. Their software is powerful but often not very everyday-user friendly. Power users are usually happy with it though. Well.... just some thoughts.

14. Unordinary unregistered

Most definitely. Who knows though. An old man and politics were involved. Most likely just banter because the software maybe froze up or something when trying to retrieve a play out of the book? /shrug

17. Br125

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 11, 2015

Have you seen the process that they used before the surfaces? Literally xeroxed out black and white photos and stapled them together and had kids run them to the offensive, defensive or special teams coaches. They only had a picture pre-snap and then a picture 2 seconds after the snap to look at. Considering the old way of doing things, I'm sure that the NFL didn't require any ground breaking software.

2. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

"If it rained or snowed, they would struggle to put them in a plastic sleeve, and then still need to find the coach to deliver the images." Is the Surface waterproof/resistant? If not they're probably going to have to cover them as well.

7. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

They've been covered from the start with those blue waterproof cases.

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I can't think of a less ringing endorsement than one from Goodell... PS: Alan, it's not spelled "GODell" (although I understand the confusion.)

5. Alan01

Posts: 646; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Ah, that was a shot at the Commish, but I changed it anyway. Best Commissioner is Frank Reagen (Tom Selleck). Regards, Alan F.

4. Metropolis75

Posts: 197; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

"Microsoft employees were not deflated." I see what you did there.

6. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

If it is depicted as an apple ipad while the coach is throwing tantrums then apple may have a problem too

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

The stake are too high for technical failure. Microsoft are too literal when it come to advertising and product endorsement. Bad mouthing competition, old fashion celebrity endorsement. Then again, the coach can quietly use whatever work best for him without kicking a big fuss and get Microsoft to be defensive.


Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

Well said Coach Belichick...dump that trash....old school is the best school...everything nowadays is too convenient..people are so f**king lazy...

12. DariusW

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2016

I don't think it's laziness here, but rather a desire to be more efficient. When these devices and their network work correctly, it is invaluable that the coaches and their staff can create, modify and send and receive information in real time, on the fly.

16. mixedfish

Posts: 1567; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Maybe they should dump the Polaroids, digital cameras and printers too, because theyre not even the 'old school' way of doing it. /s Jeebus, people can be stupid.

11. DariusW

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2016

Any tech, from proper computers to phones to tablets, are going to experience issues from time to time that engender frustration. I don't know if what's going on here is because of the tablet itself, or due to user error, or as the company intoned, network or environment issues. Personally, I prefer Apple products. I have 2 iPads, an iPhone and 2 iMacs at my home, but also 2 Windows PCs as well as a Windows phone. But I know no matter the company or product they all can have their fair share of issues, and are all subject to user and environmental factors as well. I think it's an unfair indictment of the product itself that, if something goes wrong, the product is automatically "bad," and it's name is blasted out there like this.

13. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Those things are terrible! My girlfriend has one.

15. Junito

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

I'm sure the hardware and software problems will be resolved. MS has 30 million allocated to solve the problem wink, wink.

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