Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says headsets were playing Patriots radio broadcast

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Here we go again—HeadsetGate.

After a 28-21 loss to New England in the NFL opener at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin claimed the Patriots were up to their old tricks.

Tomlin was asked about an ESPN report that his headset went out. Here’s how Tomlin responded:

Tomlin: That’s always the case.

Reporter: Here?

Tomlin: Yes.

Reporter: Are you saying that every time you play here …

Tomlin: I said what I said.

Reporter: What exactly happened?

Tomlin: We were listening to the Patriots’ radio broadcast for the majority of the first half on our headsets.

The NFL issued a statement saying the league, not the Patriots, control the headsets. Kinda like the footballs.


This is the kind of stuff that happens to the visiting team in Gillette Stadium all the time. 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.

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