NFL hits stop button on coaches wearing smart watches

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell wears two watches -- one to manage time situations on the field and the other is a gift.

Allen Park — Maybe you’ve noticed watching a game, or heard it before, but Lions coach Jim Caldwell wears two watches.

The story, it turns out, isn’t all that interesting, at least as much as Caldwell is willing to share. The first watch helps Caldwell manage situations during practice and in games. The other was a gift.

From whom? Well, that’s information Caldwell isn’t willing to share.

But in the discussion about his watches, Caldwell noted he’s prohibited, by league rules, from wearing a smart watch.

“They’ve got rules now about what kind of watch you can have on,” Caldwell said. “You can’t wear an Apple watch on the sideline or anything that has any kind of connectivity to it because of an issue that happened in another sport.”

Caldwell: Good teams don’t need calls to go their way

The Boston Red Sox were recently busted for using a smart watch to steal signs from the New York Yankees. The Red Sox were fined for the incident and MLB has threatened stiffer penalties in the future.

“All 30 clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks,” commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in a release.

The NFL’s rules about smart watches aren't surprising. The league has strict restrictions on in-game communication from the sidelines. Last year, Giants coach Ben McAdoo was fined $50,000, and the team was fined $150,000 and had their fourth-round draft pick moved back 12 spots, for using a walkie-talkie on the sidelines.

Twitter: @justin_rogers