FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick is more of a chalk and eraser type of guy, but the New England Patriots head coach has tried to adapt as NFL technology has advanced around him.
Belichick couldn’t even figure out how to set his car clock in 2009 while NFL Network cameras were following him for their “A Football Life” documentary. Now Belichick is teaching his players by using Microsoft Surface tablets, not film projectors and blackboards.
Belichick, 62, admits adapting to the latest trends still doesn’t come easily.
“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned through my coaching career is just the evolution of learning and the evolution of technology and the tools that I came into the game with in 1975. I mean our team wcouldn’teven recognize what those things are — a projector and 60 millimeter film and chalk and erasers,” Belichick cracked Friday at Gillette Stadium. “We don’t even have that stuff anymore. We progressively go on to different types of technology.
“I’d say the thing I’ve learned is that other people didn’t learn the way that I learned. They’ve learned on — I’m not comfortable with some of that technology, but they are and they can learn better with the newer technology than I can because I’m not used to it. But it’s their method of learning. They’ve been using it all their lives. So, we’ve converted as coaching staff and as an organization to, I’d say in a lot of cases, what’s better for the students than what’s better for the teachers. As teachers, we’ve had to adjust, we’ve had to learn, which has been good for us too — me in particular.”
Advances in technology have made it easier for players who want to put in more work in the “film” room. Belichick noted that players used to have to huddle together to break down the opposing team with a projector, while today’s players can watch “film” on a tablet while they’re getting treatment for injuries in the trainer’s room.
Belichick credited Patriots IT specialist Dan Famosi with teaching him how to use the Patriots’ tablets and digital technology. Without Famosi, Belichick admitted he would be lost.
“I’m overwhelmed, yeah, I’m totally overwhelmed by it,” Belichick said. “There’s no way I could — yeah, without somebody holding my hand and helping me through it, there’s no way I could get a fraction of what I get.”
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