The Pittsburgh Steelers have had several communication system issues in previous games against the New England Patriots in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium and they’ve been well-documented. Because of that, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked Tuesday during his weekly press conference if he’s expecting everything to go smoothly with the headsets on Sunday when the Steelers play the Patriots on the road for the right to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LI.
“I’m going to proceed with the assumption that that’s the case, yes,” Tomlin said.
The last time the Steelers played the Patriots in New England was at the start of the 2015 regular season and Tomlin was not shy about talking about the communication problems his team had after the game was over.
“We were listening to the Patriots radio broadcast for the majority of the first half on our headsets,” Tomlin said after Patriots beat the Steelers 28-21.
Tomlin would go on to indicate that that wasn’t the first time the team has had communication problems when playing the Patriots in New England.
“That’s always the case,” Tomlin said.
It was later reported that an NFL spokesman said that the interference in the Steelers’ headsets during that 2015 Thursday night game was “caused by a stadium power infrastructure issue, which was exacerbated by the inclement weather.”
“The coaches’ communications equipment, including the headsets, is provided by the NFL for both clubs’ use on game day,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said at the time.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also said his team problems with their headsets during that game as well.
“We deal with that, it seems like, weekly,” Belichick said. “They were on the verge of shutting it off and then they got it fixed. It was a problem all night.”
It will now be interesting to see if the Steelers have more communication issues this coming Sunday when they play the Patriots once again. With that said, Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers coaching staff better be prepared for such an issue just in case.
Rest assured that this won’t be the last time you hear this topic discussed prior to Sunday’s AFC Championship game and hopefully the Patriots organization and staff at Gillette Stadium have found a way to fix that, ahem, “stadium power infrastructure issue.”