Ben Roethlisberger didn’t go as far as to call the New England Patriots cheaters, but he did suggest his Week 1 opponent was really, really good at game preparation.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback joined Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan midday radio show Tuesday, five days after his team fell 28-21 to New England in the NFL season opener. Naturally, the show’s hosts brought up the recent ESPN report connecting Spygate to Deflategate and asked Roethlisberger if he felt the Patriots have taken illegal action to get a leg up in previous meetings.
“I always felt that they knew some of our offensive plays,” Roethlisberger said, via CBS Pittsburgh. “For whatever reason. Maybe it was better scouting or whatever, but I had always felt that.”
Roethlisberger also addressed the controversy surrounding the Steelers’ headset issues in Thursday night’s game.
“What I was told and what (backup quarterback) Bruce (Gradkowski) told me when he listened was that when we had the ball on offense, our coach-to-coach communication were not only hearing themselves, but they were hearing the radio broadcast of the game,” Roethlisberger said. “And from what I was told from (offensive coordinator Todd) Haley, it was only when we had the ball. When the Patriots had the ball, there was no radio broadcast.”
The NFL quickly cleared the Patriots of any wrongdoing regarding the issues, and Roethlisberger admitted the team has had the same problems at its home stadium.
“It happens at a lot of stadiums. It happens at Heinz Field,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s the first time that I had ever heard of anything happening when you hear a radio broadcast during a game. That’s new to me in hearing that. But, like I said, it didn’t affect me at all, but it obviously affected the coaches, so whether that’s a coincidence it happened up there or what, I’m not really sure.”
Roethlisberger never actually accuses the Patriots of cheating, but it’s clear he believes — like many around the league these days — there’s some funny business going on in Foxboro.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) on the sideline during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.