clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Older players reportedly struggling at times with tablet playbooks

The NFL introduced Microsoft Surface tablets to the sideline this season.It improves efficiency, but some older players are struggling with them. But beyond that, we might have an answer for why the 49ers are struggling in the second half!

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

This is more of an overall NFL topic, but it is kind of funny enough that I wanted to share it. The NFL cut a deal with Microsoft to supply Surface tablets to all 32 teams. They use them for playbooks, and then for checking film during games. It provides a huge improvement of efficiency after decades of using paper playbooks.

While efficiency has improved, there is one bit of fallout that should surprise nobody: older players have struggled at times learning how to use them.

"My 5-year-old son understands it better than I do," said Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn.

[Danieal] Manning would show up at team meetings, ready to work, tablet in hand. "I open it, I'm ready to go and then ... the battery is at 33%." In one instance this summer, Manning panicked when he saw the low battery. He started feverishly working to get as much in before the battery went dead all while not tipping off his teammates of his crisis. "I [thought] man, I've got a little bit of battery!' I'm trying to jam as much in as I can," he said. "I'm drawing plays down and I'm doing it as fast as I can."

The movement to tablets is a good thing, but it is kind of funny picturing some of these older players and coaches trying to figure things out. In the article, San Francsico 49ers linebacker Chris Borland mentioned how in his time both in college and the NFL, he has learned coaches and veteran players are not fans of tablets. I imagine coaches will do whatever helps them win, but there are times I can picture Vic Fangio playing around with a tablet, trying to figure things out.

Connor Barwin chimed in on this with one interesting angle I had not considered:

All that being said, the important thing to take from all this? We might have a reason for the 49ers second half struggles!

The 49ers installed outlets inside the concourse, but CLEARLY they forgot to include them up in the coaches box! It all makes sense now. The 49ers have plenty of juice to get them through the first half, but then it all falls apart in the second half!

I'll leave you with the funniest tweet about tablets on the sideline.