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Santana Moss thinks Bucs sabotaged Redskins’ headset on final drive

Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to a 24-22 victory at Tampa Bay on Sunday and, making matters more impressive, he did it all despite not having proper communication with his coaches because of a headset malfunction on the final drive.

Griffin could be seen pointing to his helmet with both index fingers during the final drive as it to say, “I can’t hear anything.” He confirmed after the game that his radio had gone out.

“The whole drive was a little complicated,” Griffin said, according to the Washington Times. “In practice, every week we always practice me calling the plays in 2-minute acting as if the headset goes out. And the funny this was the headset did go out on that drive.”

Redskins receiver Santana Moss, who had three catches for 33 yards, suspected the Bucs sabotaged them.

“Happens every time,” Moss said after the game, per Yahoo! Sports’ Eric Adelson. “No lie. I’ve been in the league 12 years, I’ve been in plenty of games, and the home team goes, ‘Oh well.’”

According to Adelson, Moss mimicked yanking an imaginary plug out of a wall.

The act of a home team sabotaging a visiting team’s headset communication on a last drive is hardly unusual; we’ve posted several examples of teams saying their headsets went out on the final drive. We don’t doubt that it happened, and that the Bucs did it on purpose.

Giffin still had no trouble leading Washington to victory. He went 26/35 for 323 yards, and ran for 43 yards and a score. The Skins went 56 yards in 1:39 to set up Billy Cundiff’s winning field goal. And for Cundiff’s sake, thank goodness that he made it after missing his first three attempts.

Photo Credit: Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE

Jason Garrett Says Jets Sabotaged Cowboys’ Headsets

The Dallas Cowboys committed two delay of game penalties during Sunday night’s loss to the Jets. Head coach Jason Garrett says the team’s headsets went out on both occasions, leading to the flags.

“That’s the nature of the National Football League,” Garrett said of the headset malfunctions. “Sometimes that happens. It seems to happen a lot on the road. You’ve just got to fight your way through that. Tony has a good understanding, being able to get some plays called if it’s not coming in clean.

“But that happened a few times in the game. We had to adjust, and a couple of times it did make us look a little sloppy getting out of the huddle because he wasn’t getting the call like he typically does.”

The penalties both came right around midfield, just as the Cowboys were in Jets territory. One was in the first quarter while the other was in the fourth quarter (right before the blocked punt). Both occurred on third down.

You may recall that this issue gained a lot of attention in 2007 when the Patriots were exposed during “Spygate.” Several different people said the Pats screwed with opposing teams‘ signals in Foxboro. A month later, the Packers and Eagles were accused of pulling the same stunts. Then last season Raheem Morris said the same thing happened during a key moment in Atlanta.

So what’s the point of all this? A few things. One, it’s pretty obvious that teams will pull off shady maneuvers to give themselves an edge. Two, there’s a good reason some visiting teams may appear clueless on the field at times. Three, is this even an issue if all teams are doing it? Maybe it’s not, but it’s important to recognize that this is one more obstacle teams face when they’re on the road.

Raheem Morris Says Coach to Quarterback Radio Went Out on Key Play in 4th Quarter

If you remember back during the Spygate allegations a few years ago, another claim that emerged was that the Patriots were sabotaging opponents’ headsets during key moments in games. Since the home team has control over stadium communications, such a move would not be a surprise. Guess what? It sounds like the Atlanta Falcons employed the same maneuver.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Falcons 27-21 on Sunday coming back from down 27-14. Late in the 4th quarter the Bucs drove inside the 10 and had a 3rd and 3 at the four yard line. They handed to LeGarrette Blount who gained two yards, making it a 4th and 1 at the two. If you saw the action or the video replay, quarterback Josh Freeman didn’t receive the communication from the coaches and didn’t know what play to call for the critical moment. He wound up burning a timeout with a few seconds left on the playclock and the offense had to reset. They wound up handing off to Blount on 4th and 1 and got stopped, but what’s interesting is what Raheem Morris is saying a day later.

The Tampa Bay coach says there was some funny business going on at that time. Rick Stroud reported on twitter that “Bucs coach Raheem Morris says the coach to QB radio ‘mysteriously,’ went off in ATL after one play near the goal line, forcing a timeout.” I don’t doubt the truth of his allegation based on what we saw.

Is it a dirty practice? Yes. Do most teams do it? You bet. Does it make it right? No. But it sure as heck is part of the reason why homefield advantage is such a big deal in football. Oh yeah, it also must be pointed out that radio communications had nothing to do with the Bucs losing; they lined up against the Falcons and needed just one yard on a 4th and 1 and got stuffed. They didn’t deserve to win after that stop.

Patriots Aren’t the Only Sabotagers

I’ve been kind of fixated on all this Patriot sabotaging thing going on. The real reason is because New England is so good, I want to know how their legacy should be judged. The other day, I wondered why teams were only complaining about the Patriots interfering with headset communication from coaches to players, and no other teams. If the Patriots were doing it, why I wondered, weren’t other teams? Turns out that the headsets in Green Bay and Philly have also gone down this year. From the Redskins Insider:

This guy, whose team has played in Green Bay and Philly in the past two seasons, says that in both cases, at fairly critical junctures in the game, all of a sudden they lost headset communication.

“I think if you talk to teams around the league, you’ll find there’s definitely shenanigans going on in Green Bay and Philly,” he said.

If that’s not enough, there has also been heavy speculation that the Redskins pump in fake crowd noise at home games to disturb the visiting team. So in short, looks like several NFL teams partake in shady operations to gain an edge. Seems like the only ones we’ve been hearing about have involve New England, all because of the video taping incident. I guess when you get caught for cheating, it makes it easy to pour it on for all other minor incidents.

Browns Say Patriots Were Shady

If you remember not too long ago, I presented a story from the Lions and Bengals who both complained that their coach-to-quarterback headsets went out when the were playing the Patriots in Foxboro. Now you can add the Browns to the list:

In the wake of the Spygate scandal involving New England coach Bill Belichick, there were accusations the Patriots may have manipulated radio frequencies during games in their stadium, ostensibly to disrupt the coach-to-quarterback radio communication for visiting teams.

Well, it happened to the Browns during their game on Oct. 7 in Foxboro, Mass.

A team source said Browns coaches lost communication with Anderson eight to 10 times.

None of the breakdowns occurred prior to any of Anderson’s three interceptions in the game.

Headset malfunctions or not, the Browns still weren’t likely to compete with the Patriots. Still, this is the latest charge against New England and it doesn’t make them look any better. Here’s a thought: Why not just win controversy free? Do they really need to keep messing with headsets? Can’t they just win straight up, considering they are one of the best teams ever? Complaint by complaint, their legacy is being tarnished, and that’s a damn shame.
(photo courtesy Elsa, Getty Images)

Now the Patriots are Headset Sabotagers, Too?

Goodness gracious, does it get any worse than this? Just how dirty are the Patriots? Or is everyone just eager to jump on their case because they’re jealous of all the success and glory they’ve received? Who knows what the motives are at this point. All I know is that these reports portray the Pats in the most sinister of lights. From Nurse Dr. Z of SI, via Michael David Smith at FanHouse:

“At one point we had a good drive going against the Patriots,” said one Lion who doesn’t want his name involved in this mess, but was willing to talk about it. “Mike Martz really had ‘em going. They were getting fouled up, lining up wrong, we were moving the ball. Then boom, the headset from the sidelines to the coaches’ booth goes out.

“Next possession we were moving the ball again and the same thing happened. You know it only takes two or three plays to mess up a drive.”

Matt Millen, the Lions’ GM, was talking to Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis at the league meetings. He started telling him the story.

“Yeah, I know,” Lewis said. “Headset went out. It happened to me in Foxboro, too.”

Tell me those reports don’t reek of slime and corruption. Maybe that’s why the “Patriots always seem to win, regardless of who they lose to injury or free agency.” Maybe those are the Patriot intangibles — the “something about that organization” that they’re always winning. Honestly, football’s a much different game when you know exactly what’s coming because you stole signals. But to cut out opposing team’s headsets? That’s just downright wrong. I’m starting to lose respect for the Patriots by the minute. I’d like to hear some explanations coming from their end of things.