(Reuters) - New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, growing tired of conspiracy theories regarding his team, lashed out on Friday at reports suggesting the Super Bowl champions are always seeking off-the-field ways to gain a competitive advantage.
Belichick denied that Thursday night’s headset problems in the NFL season-opener were part of a plan to disrupt the sideline communications of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“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 in a teleconference.
“Writing about warm drinks and trash cans and stuff like that. I think it’s just a sad commentary and it’s gone to a pretty low level. Sunk pretty deep.”
Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said after the Steelers’ 28-21 loss that instead of being able to talk with his coaches on the headset, all he could hear for most of the first half was the Patriots radio broadcast. He said “that’s always the case” when his team plays in the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.
The Steelers, however, said Friday they would not take the issue to the National Football League front office.
“The problem was addressed during the game and we did not have further problems in the second half,” the statement read. “We did not file a formal complaint, nor do we plan to do so.”
Belichick’s comment on “warm drinks” referred to a magazine article that said one opponent brought its own drinks to Gillette Stadium games because they felt the Patriots had not adequately cooled their drinks.
The four-time Super Bowl champion Patriots were caught illegally spying on opposing coaches in 2007 and accused of deflating below league standards the footballs used during a January playoff game.
After “Spygate” and “Deflategate,” Belichick was hoping “Headsetgate” would not gain momentum. He said Patriots coaches had their own issues with the headsets on Thursday.
“It’s not an uncommon problem,” he said. “We ended up having to signal a couple of our plays offensively, and we couldn’t get them in.”
The NFL said it was a stadium power problem and had nothing to do with the headsets.
“Issues of this type happen at many stadiums around the league and whenever there are issues of this nature, we do a thorough review,” the NFL said.
Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech