Patriots’ radio broadcast interferes with Steelers coaches’ headsets “Watch”

Updated: September 11, 2015
Patriots' radio broadcast interferes with Steelers coaches' headsets - Watch

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin isn’t saying the Patriots messed around with the Steeler coaches’ headsets in the first half.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin answered questions about the communication issues in his postgame news conference, telling reporters Steelers coaches heard the Patriots radio broadcast of the game throughout the first half.

When pressed on the matter, he did not go into much detail.

The Steelers did, however, go into much more detail on their web site. Bob Labriola, who writes for, wrote the following about the headset communication:

“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.”

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the league will review the complaint.

“Technological and stadium infrastructure issues of this type happen at many stadiums around the league and whenever there are issues of this nature, we do a thorough review,” Signora replied via email.

This is not the first time opposing teams have encountered problems with communication at Gillette Stadium in New England.

Deadspin cited six examples from previous games in New England when teams either filed complaints or prepared their teams for different forms of communication because of the problems in the stadium. Those complaints came in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.