Extra Points

Bill Belichick hands-off on new headsets


By Julian Benbow, Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH – By his own admission, Patriots coach Bill Belichick couldn’t get a job with the Geek Squad.

“When it comes to technology, I’m really the worst,” he said. “The on/off switch, that’s challenging for me.”

Universal remotes, he said, are his kryptonite.

“Like when you have the three remotes, one to turn it on, one to change the whatever, another for something else just to get the right one to turn it on,” he said.

So he looks at the NFL’s upgrade from analog to digital headsets for coaches on the sideline the same way he’d look at everything at Best Buy.


“Like most other things in technology, when it works it’s great,” Belichick said. “When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But when it works it’s great.”

The new equipment was put to the test last year during the preseason and in the Super Bowl. The communication is supposed to be crisper and clearer with less delay. The quarterbacks and one defensive player are allowed to wear the special helmets on the field.

Of course, covering all their bases, the Patriots have already gone through emergency situations should the technology fail them at a crucial moment, be it a timeout or a play call.

“It’s a challenging situation,” Belichick said. “You’ve got a lot of communication, a lot of things going on in every stadium, both in-stadium and externally. If something breaks down for a few seconds, it’s important.

“It’s not like, ‘OK, we’ve got a while to get this fixed.’ They’re trying to go play. So a few seconds can be a big deal. Even though it’s only a few seconds it could be at the wrong time. It could be a big deal.”

Belichick, for what it’s worth, knows his limitations when it comes to gadgets.

“We have people in our organization that are very good technologically,” he said. “Thankfully.”


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