Reminder: walkie-talkies are forbidden on NFL sidelines

The NFL has gradually been embracing new technologies for team personnel on the sidelines. Take the adoption of the Microsoft Surface, for example. For decades, players would look at actual printed photos to see how the plays where developing on the field. Microsoft comes along with a high-profile tie-in for its new gizmo, and there you go: The official tablet of the NFL. It’s had a bit of a rocky road, to be sure. Some announcers call it an iPad, and one leading NFL coach has given up on tablets all together.

While tablets make inroads on the sidelines, one thing is strictly forbidden — walkie-talkies. NBC’s ProFootballTalk website notes that New York Giants head coach Bob McAdoo was caught using just such a device last week, using one to communicate with quarterback Eli Manning during their win over the Dallas Cowboys. Super Bowl-winning coach and Hall of Famer Tony Dungy was very pointed in his comments about the incident.

Dungy said that during his time in the league, it was made quite clear to the coaching staffs what could and could not be used when it came to in-game communications. For that reason, Dungy says every other team in the league would be upset if the Giants got off lightly with this one. “’You cannot use walkie-talkies,’” Dungy said on PFT. “’To me this is very serious. If the league only issues a fine there will be owners calling the league office the next day.’”

An Adam Schefter report earlier today on ESPN.com indicates that teams have indeed complained to the league, and that the Giants are looking at a fine, with no loss of a precious draft pick. The site reports that McAdoo offered a brief comment on the situation Friday. “Start off by talking about the walkie-talkie incident in the game. We’ve touched base with the league, we’re working through it right now. I don’t have anything to add, but we are working with the league on the incident.”

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