Mike Tomlin was not happy Thursday night in Foxboro – and not just because his Steelers lost to the Patriots 28-21 in the season-opener.
No, Tomlin was irate that he and his staff experienced communication issues on their headsets. In fact, he said that the Steelers were listening to the Patriots radio broadcast for the majority of the first half.
Coincidence? Well, given that a report just came out saying the Patriots try to gain an advantage on their opponents by any means necessary, no.
“Man, you lose communication, all of a sudden your headphones don’t work – man, it’s always something,” former NFL Pro Bowler and current That Other Pregame Show host Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “This thing is taking on a life of its own, but it’s not uncommon with teams that I’ve played on as well.”
Gregg Giannotti clarified whether Scott had issues in Foxboro or in the NFL in general.
“At Foxboro,” Scott said, amused. “Come on. You know what we’re talking about.”
Giannotti just wanted to be sure.
“I confess, yes, they did it,” Scott said, still amused. “Come on. Unless it’s some computer tech guy that’s a huge Patriots fan and knows how to mess stuff up. I’m sure we don’t know the names of the communication people, either. They’ll take a leave of absence pretty soon here.”
Bill Belichick, for what it’s worth, claims that he and his staff had communication issues during the game as well and had to switch headsets “a couple times.” Belichick went on to say that the communication system isn’t very good and that the Patriots deal with those issues “what seems like weekly.”
Scott bought none of it.
“It’s the Bermuda Triangle out there,” he said. “That’s what happens. Everything goes a little crazy out there – just like my fire alarm half the time we’d go out there the night before the game. It’s just coincidence.”
Scott said that happened “at least twice when I was with the Jets,” for whom he played from 2009 to 2012.
As for the actual game, the Steelers showed resolve in fighting back from a 21-3 deficit, but the defense was exposed numerous times in the passing game.
“I think what Pittsburgh showed is the inexperience on defense, the blown coverages – that’s what you’re going to see the first couple games of the season,” Scott said. “The veteran teams will be more dialed in and that’s why they have a greater opportunity to go on the road and win. But when you take a young defense on the road, they have to be glued in. You could tell they had numerous communication issues. How can you lose Rob Gronkowski running up the seams? How can you miss him lining up at receiver? I think they’ll go back and kick themselves in the butt, but they should be proud of how the offensive line performed and protected Ben. When they get the rest of their weapons back, I think they’re going to be the team that we expect them to be in the AFC.”