Watch CBS News

Rob Gronkowski Actually Prefers A Tablet, But 'Only If It's Working'

By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- As much as Bill Belichick appears to be waging a crusade against technology and its invasion of NFL sidelines, it can have its benefits - if the equipment is functioning properly, of course.

Viewing plays and formations from your opponent on a tablet, as opposed to a picture on a sheet of paper, can give you advantages like zooming and scrolling that could benefit a player's understanding of what the opponent is doing. Tom Brady tends to just go by what he saw with his own two eyes, while Belichick just smashes the things.

But ask Rob Gronkowski, and he'll tell you he'd prefer the Patriots stuck with the tablets - with the caveat that they would actually work.

"If the tablet's working, I prefer the tablet," said Gronkowski. "It shows [the plays] live, right there, and you get to scroll through and stuff - but, only if it's working.

"Sometimes that's the difficulty with it. If it's not working it definitely can get you frustrated, because you want to be scrolling through and it stops."

That frustration is what led Belichick to abandon the team's league-provided tablets and headsets altogether against the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, then explain why he's doing away with the tablets altogether in one of his longest press conference diatribes ever.

So don't expect to see much use made of the team's Microsoft Surface tablets in Pittsburgh, if any. Gronk will need to find a new way to look at opponents' plays. Something tells me it won't have an effect on his performance.

Matt Dolloff is a writer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.