The NFL says it will review what happened with the headsets during Thursday night’s game in New England, but the league is reiterating that the Patriots did not provide the communications devices that malfunctioned.
“The coaches’ communications equipment, including the headsets, is provided by the NFL for both clubs use on game day,” the league said in a statement this morning. “The home team is responsible for the installation and maintenance of that equipment. Every team’s game day communications personnel are required to work with the NFL communications consultants to ensure wireless equipment is free and clear of interference and address any problems. Technological and stadium infrastructure issues of this type happen at many stadiums around the league and whenever there are issues of this nature, we do a thorough review.”
It’s unclear what kind of “thorough review” the NFL will conduct. Surely, the league won’t hire Ted Wells to conduct another months-long investigation, as the last time Wells conducted a months-long investigation of the Patriots, it resulted in Tom Brady beating the league in court.
But the NFL does need to address the matter more thoroughly. Although the league seems to be saying that the Patriots aren’t to blame for any communications problems, multiple teams have suspected the Patriots of tampering with their headsets at Gillette Stadium. The league needs to spend some time looking into what has happened, and then spend some money on better communications devices so there are no further malfunctions.