Headsetgate: Patriots Caught Up in Another Cheating Scandal

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots

Headsetgate: Patriots Caught Up in Another Cheating Scandal

Steelers coaches angry with communication issues in NFL opener.

Published September 11, 2015

There was Spygate, Deflategate and now let's call this Headsetgate. The New England Patriots just can't stay away from controversy.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are irked that their coach-to-coach headsets picked up Patriots' radio broadcast for most of the first half of Thursday night's game, which New England won 28-21 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

What's worse is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says that headsets issues like this have repeatedly happened in New England.

"That's always the case. Yes. I said what I said," Tomlin told ESPN after the loss.

Tomlin said the issue "eventually" was taken care of and Steelers coaches were able to communicate.


Patriots coach Bill Belichick said New England's sideline experienced technical difficulties as well.

"We had a lot of problems," Belichick said. "We had to switch headphones a couple of times. The communication system wasn't very good. We deal with that, it seems, weekly. They told us they were on the verge of shutting it off, but then I guess they got it working. I don't know, but it was a problem the whole game. We almost had to switch helmets with [Tom] Brady there at the end. Couldn't get the plays in to him. It was a problem all night."

The NFL described the headset reception issue as "intermittent" after Blake Jones, the league's director of football operations, checked out the headsets on the field.

The NFL also released this statement: "In the first quarter of tonight's game, the Pittsburgh coaches experienced interference in their headsets caused by a stadium power infrastructure issue, which was exacerbated by the inclement weather. The coaches' communications equipment, including the headsets, is provided by the NFL for both clubs' use on game day. Once the power issue was addressed, the equipment functioned properly with no additional issues."

Brady showed no signs of rust, throwing for 288 yards and four touchdowns, including three to tight end Rob Gronkowski.

(Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla


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