Saints still adjusting to using mobile tablets on sidelines

Like several other teams, the New Orleans Saints worked with mobile tablets on the sidelines this week during Friday’s preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams.

While there are some advantages to using the new technology instead of the old analog pictures, Saints coach Sean Payton said it is going to take some time to get used to and that the team is working through some early issues.

“We had probably as many as we normally would pictures,” Payton said. “Three sets, each side of the bench, and there’s probably some nuances with them, but I think they’ll work their way through those.”

Some of those nuances, which didn’t arise Friday since the game was held in a dome, is how to deal with weather. When it is sunny outside, Payton fears that the tablets will not work due to glare. Rain is another issue that he’s concerned about.

One other issue that teams are already coming up against are connectivity issues. The tablets need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to work properly. During Thursday’s game against the Washington Redskins, the New England Patriots were unable to connect to a network to receive the pictures.

The Saints, however, have already planned for that contingency. Payton said the team is still using printed photos as a backup, and there is part of him that likes doing things the old way.

” Drawing on them is kind of a pain, it’s not like drawing on pictures, but it’s fairly easy to work with,” Payton said.