In very terse language, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he and other Steelers coaches heard the Patriots’ radio broadcast “for the majority of the first half” on their headsets, impeding their ability to communicate with each other.
The Steelers lost to the Patriots 28-21 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, in the National Football League’s regular-season opener.
Tomlin said headset issues happen all the time when his team plays at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots’ home field. “That’s always the case,” said Tomlin, who is in his ninth season as Pittsburgh’s head coach. “Yes. I said what I said.”
“This is the kind of stuff that happens to the visiting team in Gillette Stadium all the time,” Labriola wrote. “From the start of the game through the opening 14 minutes of the first quarter, the Steelers’ coaches’ headsets were receiving the Patriots Radio Network broadcast of the game. The broadcast was so loud that the Steelers coaches were unable to communicate, and the NFL rule is that if one team’s headsets are not working the other team is supposed to be forced to take their headsets off. It’s what the NFL calls the Equity Rule. Strangely enough, whenever an NFL representative proceeded to the New England sideline to shut down their headsets, the Steelers’ headsets cleared. Then as the representative walked away from the New England sideline, the Steelers’ headsets again started to receive the Patriots game broadcast.”