Patriots

Patriots

Bill Belichick launched into a defense of his team and his program when speaking about the headset issue that occurred during Thursday night's season opener between the Patriots and Steelers.

When the story was initially reported during the game, many believed that the implication was the Patriots must have been doing something to disrupt the Steelers radio frequencies.

The issues were experienced by both teams, however, as Belichick pointed out. And he went out of his way in a conference call on Friday morning to shoot down conspiracy theories that picked up steam this week with reports from ESPN and Sports Illustrated that lobbed accusations at the organization about providing visiting teams with warm Gatorade and rifling through opponents' trash to find clues to their game plans. 

"I'd just say, you know, tying this in with a couple of things from last week, or earlier in the week, I just think overall it's kind of sad, really, to see some stories written that obviously have an agenda to them with misinformation and anonymous type comments," Belichick said. "Writing about warm drinks and trash cans and stuff like that, I mean it's just, I think it's a sad commentary and it's really a very . . . it's gone to a pretty low level. It's gone pretty deep."

During his remarks, Belichick not only defended his own team, but his message could have been perceived as a suggestion for others who have traveled to Foxboro in the past in search of excuses as to why their games didn't go as planned.

 

"I would Just first of all would say that our program here is built on competition, and trying to improve every day, and trying to work hard, and it's not built on excuses, and we just try to go to work and improve and find a way to get better," he said. "This organization has won a lot of games, but particularly in reference to the great teams from '01, '03, '04 back in there, and all the great players that played on those teams -- Ty Law, [Lawyer] Milloy, Otis Smith, Rodney Harrison, [Tedy] Bruschi, [Larry] Izzo, [Willie] McGinest, [Mike] Vrabel, [Anthony] Pleasant, [Richard] Seymour, you know, Matt Light, [Joe] Andruzzi, Steve Neal, [Deion] Branch, Troy Brown, [Tom] Brady, Antowain Smith, Kevin Faulk, Corey Dillon, Lonie Paxton, [Adam] Vinatieri -- to take away from what those guys accomplished, what those teams accomplished, how good they were, how many great players we had, how well they played in the biggest games, how they consistently showed up and made big plays and game-winning plays, it's just not right.

"Those guys were great players, and many more. Those are a few of them. And great teams. I'm not gonna get into a back and forth on it, but that's the way I feel about it."

Belichick did not delve into the topic beyond those comments, but he did explain the general difficulties provided by the communication systems that seem to occur on an almost weekly basis. 

Asked if he had received any more information on why there was an issue Thursday night, Belichick replied: "No. No. I'd just say, it's pretty common, you know. I mean look, there's a lot of stuff down there -- the coach-quarterback stuff, offense and defense, the headsets to the pressbox, the tablets. There's a lot of stuff going on there, and you know, we had some problems. Just as an example, we had some problems in the first half and that seemed to be OK, and then we got to the end of the game, and the most problems we had were in our last two possessions on offense and defense.

"Sometimes it goes along and it's fine and then for some reason something happens and then you go to the guys on the sideline, the blue hats or purple hats or whatever they're called, and then you tell them about it and they fix it. I don't really know, I don't know enough about technology. I don't know how any of that works, but that's how it goes. We ended up hard-wiring a couple of our headsets to kind of eliminate the wireless part of it. It's not an uncommon problem. We ended up having to signal some of our plays offensively. We couldn't get them in. But we look at it as something you have to be ready for every week and we practice it. Home, away, I don't really think there's any common denominator on that."