Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was seething about yet another controversy involving the Patriots after his team’s 28-21 loss to the defending Super Bowl champions Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.
The NY Post reports Tomlin’s anger centered around the Steelers’ coach-to-coach headsets from the sideline to the press box, steamed they were picking up the Patriots’ radio broadcast for the majority of the first half.
Blake Jones, the NFL director of football operations, went down to the field to help out with the headsets and the league described the reception problem as “intermittent.”
Because it was not a complete system failure, New England’s coaches were not required to shut down their headsets during the repairs, leaving Tomlin upset that it was a competitive advantage to New England.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick insisted after the game that his sideline was having issues with the headset communications as well.
“It is unsettling for a visiting team to come in here and have something like that happen. You want to start the game and say we’re on an equal playing field. I guarantee Mike Tomlin is hot right now.”
While conspiracy theorists were quick to want to blame the Patriots, according to the NFL, they do not control the headset frequencies. The league controls the headset communication between the coaches in the press box and on the field.
The NFL released a statement after the game saying the interference was caused “by a stadium power infrastructure issue. … Once the power issue was addressed, the equipment functioned properly with no additional issues.”