NFL: League, Not Patriots, Provides Coaches’ Communications Equipment

Rob Gronkowski
The Associated Press

The NFL released a statement noting that the league, not the home team, provides coaches’ communications equipment for games. The explanation comes in the wake of technical difficulties for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots during the season opener at Gillette Stadium.

“In the first quarter of tonight’s game, the Pittsburgh coaches experienced interference in their headsets caused by a stadium power infrastructure issue, which was exacerbated by the inclement weather,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora explained. “The coaches’ communications equipment, including the headsets, is provided by the NFL for both clubs use on game day. Once the power issue was addressed, the equipment functioned properly with no additional issues.”

The NFL explanation clashes with the description of the issue by the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We were listening to the Patriots radio broadcast for the majority of the first half through our headsets,” an irked Mike Tomlin revealed after the game. He called such glitches normal for Foxboro.

“We had a lot of problems,” his counterpart Bill Belichick said. “We had to switch headphones a couple of times. The communications system wasn’t very good.”

The New England Patriots, powered by a near-perfect performance by quarterback Tom Brady, won the game 28-21.