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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Steelers website accuses Patriots of cheating with headset issues

Mike Tomlin headset

We don’t know exactly what happened with the electronic communications at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night, but Bill Belichick insists the New England Patriots were also having issues. The official website of the Pittsburgh Steelers isn’t buying it.

In a blurb entitled “No Surprise At All,” Steelers.com writer Bob Labriola essentially accused the Patriots of cheating, and he believes it involved a pretty complicated scheme.

“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.”

So, apparently, Labriola believes the Patriots had someone watching to see when an NFL official would approach their sideline and would somehow turn Pittsburgh’s electronic communications back on right at that point. Not only that, but he thinks they are arrogant enough to do it just days after more cheating allegations surfaced.

Mike Tomlin certainly implied he didn’t think the headset issues were a coincidence, though the NFL said inclement weather was a factor and the equipment that malfunction was league-issued.

Perhaps the Steelers should take responsibility for some of their embarrassing defensive breakdowns instead of worrying about being cheated.

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