The Browns had problems with malfunctioning headsets at StubHub Center on Sunday and claim they are not the first team to experience technical difficulties there. Browns coach Hue Jackson said the problems started in the first quarter, and he ended up using a walkie-talkie, which worked sometimes.
“This is a league issue,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We’ll take it up with the league. We heard there was another team that had the same issue one time at that particular stadium. I felt bad because DeShone [Kizer] had to handle all of that and handle playing the game.
“He’s not going to make excuses and neither am I. This is not an excuse. These things really happen so we had to do with it. That’s not why we lost that game — I will be the first to tell everybody that — but it sure didn’t help some of the situations that we were in.”
Jackson blamed the headset issue with a wasted timeout on third-and-15 from the 15 with 4:59 remaining, and the Browns trailing 19-10.
“I thought the best thing to do there since he couldn’t hear anything was take the timeout and let’s get our composure,” Jackson said. “First, let’s see if we can get the phones to work again and make sure that we run the next best play for us. That’s what that was about. It wasn’t about ‘let’s just go burn a timeout.’ That was about the headsets not working.”
The Chargers had no problems with their coach-to-player system, coach Anthony Lynn said Monday. Los Angeles was allowed to use its headsets despite the Browns’ problems with their system. NFL equity rules apply only if a total system failure occurs before kickoff, a rule that perhaps the competition committee needs to revisit in the offseason.