One of the interesting aspect of attending Bill Belichick's daily press conferences as a reporter is that you never know exactly what question, what topic is going to set the head coach off on one of his very entertaining rants.
Sometimes the most random, innocuous of questions can send Belichick spiraling through an always-interesting answer filled with utter disdain.
Having read a story in the L.A. Times last night on the Baltimore Ravens taking the technological step of putting their weekly game plans and play books on iPads, I figured I'd ask Belichick if he'd considered making a similar move.
And off Belichick went…
"There's so much technology out there, you could go to whatever you want. I'm sure we have enough technological equipment in here to put the whole team on the moon," Belichick responded.
So, you're sticking with the three-ring binders?
"In the end, it comes down to – you're at all the games – it comes down to blocking and tackling and running and throwing and catching and kicking and solid fundamentals and all that. You could put the iPad on the super-duper wizard computer and whatever you want. You could throw all that crap on there and I'm sure it would come out great. I'm sure you could get some statistical analysis that would provide 28 thesis for MIT. In the end, you have to go out there and play football. Personally, I wouldn't lose too much sight of that. Same thing in baseball. Tony [La Russa] and I, we've have talked about that a lot too. You have to throw the ball, you have to hit it, you have to catch it, you have to field it, you have to run the bases. You could go out there and talk about some guy's batting average when the count is 2-1 at night. I mean, sooner or later, you have to go out there and play. I think you have to keep sight of that. As you know, I'm not the most technological person in this organization. I rely on some other people to try to help, like you said, streamline things or find a way where we can do things a little bit more efficiently. I understand that the people coming into the organization, that's what they were brought up on and that's not what I was brought up on, so I understand there's a difference there. I think there's a marriage but at the same time, I don't think that's the highest priority."
As much as Belichick made himself seem old-school with today's answer, I'd be surprised if he and most other coaches don't go to a digital playbook, game plan and film system in the very near future.
How cool is it that a player can tap on a certain scheme or play for a given opponent and instantly see video of that play? Or that the playbooks can be wiped clean from afar if misplaced or even automatically at the end of each week? Or that it would save huge money on paper/printing costs/man hours?
Or maybe the guy who can't even change the clock in his car is afraid of the technology?
"I probably embrace it a little bit more now than I did a few years ago – at least I can turn it on," Belichick said of technology.
He then added that he's "still working on" changing his car's clock after the daylight savings switch of a couple weeks back.
Baby steps, baby steps.