Belichick discusses defensive line shifts

AP

Lost in the complaints about the malfunctioning of the Pittsburgh headsets on Thursday night was the fact that the Steelers also were complaining about New England’s use of a defensive line shift to induce a false start by the Pittsburgh offensive line inside the five.

On Sunday, as 14 teams were playing their Week One games, Patriots coach Bill Belichick discussed the technique with the media.

“We’re not trying to simulate anything,” Belichick said regarding the perception that the defense was simulating the snap count by sliding in unison. “We’re allowed to move on the defensive side of the ball and we’re allowed to move together. Like, we don’t have to move one at a time. If we move, then we make a call and we move. We’re not trying to simulate anything. We’re just trying to move the defense. That’s perfectly legal. Defenses have done that for, I don’t know, probably 75 years.”

That was apparently news to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who questioned the tactic after the game.

I thought that there was a rule against that,” Roethlisberger said after the game. “Maybe there’s not. Maybe it’s just an unwritten rule. . . . We saw it on film, that the Patriots do that. They shift and slide and do stuff on the goal line, knowing that it’s an itchy trigger finger-type down there.”

The fact that the Steelers “saw it on film” makes the Steelers look a little foolish, frankly, for failing to figure out whether it was or wasn’t legal and for not being ready to deal with it when it happened.

75 responses to “Belichick discusses defensive line shifts

  1. Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger embarrassed themselves with their whining after losing to the Patriots again.

    Here’s a thought Steelers fans, try putting at least one guy on Gronk and try to muster up an ounce of defense against Tom Brady who has 17 touchdowns and 0 int’s against your team with Tomlin as the coach. That’s called being owned.

  2. I expect whining from the Colts and Ravens. Not from the Steelers. I am surprised by this. You see this in almost every game. Ben’s own offensive lineman said it was a smart move by the Patriots.

  3. I am with Belichek on this one … the Patriots suckered the Steelers into a penalty, plain and simple, like a hard snap count the other way.

    Don’t like them. Hate that they win these games year in and year out, But, on the penalty, that is just sportsmanship.

  4. This stuff is getting ridiculous. I like Ben, but this stuff is just getting ridiculous! Players need to just play the game and stop whining about everything.

  5. What is it with AFC Central teams not knowing the rules? I have seen this going on since I first started watching football. WHy is it all of a sudden a big deal….you know….an unwritten rule….because they do that kind of stuff here….blah blah blah.

    Hey Ben, if we all piled on without knowing the facts, I’d call you a rapist right now.

  6. Holy crap what a bunch of sissies I’d be embarrassed to be a Steelers fan at the moment.

    Defensive line shifts have been employed by every team forever. And guess what, the LB that is in charge of the defense gets to call out shifts.

    What’s next ? Probably something along the lines of “The Patriots defenders didn’t cover up their eyes before the ball was snapped, that’s not fair”

  7. This is why BB doesn’t say much. He doesn’t want to sound like Tomlin or Rothlisberger, despite the fact that neither is in his IQ neighborhood.

  8. You would think that an NFL player and coach would be aware of the rules. The Steelers look really bush league right now. I would probably refrain from speaking to the media from here on if I was them.

  9. logicalvoicepft says:
    Sep 13, 2015 4:59 PM

    I don’t believe anything this CHEATER or his CHEATING team says
    ——–
    when players come here from other teams do they automatically become cheaters? how about when they leave? if your team takes them does that absolve them or is your tea now infected?

  10. logicalvoicepft says:
    Sep 13, 2015 4:59 PM

    I don’t believe anything this CHEATER or his CHEATING team says.
    ———————————

    That’s okay. We don’t believe anything you say about your loser team.

  11. Why would the Patriots ever want to mess with the Steelers headsets? That might stop the offensive idiots, defensive morons, as well as the head crybaby of the Steelers coaching staff from getting out those brilliant calls that guarantee a Patriots win. You know, a double pass when moving the ball well, pretend that Gronk is not in the game, etc.

  12. pigskinwytboy says:
    Sep 13, 2015 4:59 PM

    He should discuss receiving the steelers radio signals. Cheating neanderthal
    ———————————————————
    THIS is what you think happened Thursday night????

    Did you read a THING about this??????

    You are a complete embarrassment to football fans EVERYWHERE.

    Even the dumbest “hater” knows that this was about the Steelers coaches hearing the Patriots radio broadcast over their headsets.

    NOWHERE did ANYONE say ANYTHING about the Patriots receiving the Steelers radio messages.

    Good Lord, some people are so STUPID.

  13. It’s a sad sad commentary that the NFL has become a league of whiners and excuse makers instead of men. It’s not just these examples. Think about, on 90% of every incompleted pass these days is a receiver looking for a flag (….and sometimes they get one).

    The Pats used some innovative formations last year and instead of getting to work and teaching your players how to recognize them, they run to the “competition committee” and get those formations legislated out of the league it’s too hard, like spoiled children. Is it any wonder BB out coaches these guys so often. Once again incompetence is rewarded in the NFL.

  14. It’s so funny that every little thing they do is scrutinized as cheating. Preparing well and studying is not cheating and a failure to do so by the steelers doesn’t make the pats cheaters either. Well I guess in today’s world it does.

  15. Where is this list of “unwritten rules” I keep hearing about

    Maybe someone should give a copy of it to him

    It just seems to me the biggest problem is that Belichick knows the rule book better than the coaches and officials – certainly better than Goodell who left the gaping loophole “no sideline filming FOR USE ON THAT GAME DAY” in Kensil’s 2006 rule likely designed for the Patriots

    Roger HATES being shown as the idiot he is – and he will never forgive Belichick for making a mockery of him as Commissioner back in 2007

    Fast forward to 2015 and Goodell has sealed his legacy as a corrupt liar and cheater who tried to slander the game’s best player to make himself more popular with 31 other markets

    And most of you guys were gullible enough to believe Goodell – amazing

  16. Why does everyone who plays the Patriots and loses call them cheaters. Just say that you got out played or out coached. I don’t hear Bill saying anything about other teams cheating when the Pats lose. It’s starting to get old.

  17. I now firmly believe that Mike Tomlin deliberately stirred the masses with his ridiculous headset allegation to deflect attention away for the absolutely horrible job he did coaching and preparing his team for that game.

    I lost all respect for Mike Tomlin.

  18. Anyone read articles about the Steelers using steroids in the 70’s and 80’s? Hmm during championship years? Do they qualify as cheaters?

  19. I believe that the Patriots act immorally when they use an accurate quarterback who keeps throwing to different people, which makes it hard for the defense to know what to do.

    Also, if Brady sees the defense out of position, he runs the play rather than waiting for the defense to re-align as needed. This is not gentlemanly and is the best proof available that Brady is a cheater.

  20. The most famous fan chant in Boston besides the Yankees suck is beat L A ,beat L A
    As the Celts were about to be eliminated in the Eastern finals .No sour grapes no blaming the officials -just giving the 76 rs their due and urging them to beat the common rival LA.

    Time for the losing teams and their respective fan base to give it up and acknowledge that for the moment Bill and Brady are just better than you.

  21. .
    Tomlin on why the Steelers lost :

    A. Headsets
    B. Line Shifts
    C. Warm Gatorade
    D. Deflated Footballs
    E. Bad Officiating
    .

  22. I now firmly believe that Mike Tomlin deliberately stirred the masses with his ridiculous headset allegation to deflect attention away for the absolutely horrible job he did coaching and preparing his team for that game.

    I lost all respect for Mike Tomlin.

    I firmly believe you are full of crap about Tomlins anger. He has played the Pats enough to have seen the accidental things that occur in Gillette but has taken the high road never complaining. But after deflate gate and the arrogance in which it was handled by the Cheaties I am sure the headset issues were the last straw. I understand you Cheaties lemmings will follow the lying mantra to the edge of the cliff. But there are just too many coincidences to the weird happenings in Gillette let alone discussing the old snow plow trick. He was asked an obvious question ladies………he was pissed as any well intentioned person would be. Being a cheater is easier than being cheated on…..

  23. The fact that the Steelers “saw it on film” makes the Steelers look a little foolish, frankly, for failing to figure out whether it was or wasn’t legal and for not being ready to deal with it when it happened.

    ———–

    Duh.

  24. The Steelers were the ones receiving Patriot coach communications, not the other way around. The complaint was that it was interference, not that the Patriots were the ones eavesdropping. Haters can’t even get their conspiracy theories straight, sad.

  25. Maybe the Steelers should join FIFA where they can cry and whine all day long…
    ——–

    This is insulting to soccer/futbal players, we flop and sometimes whine–to try to get calls. With all that, we know the damn rules of our game.

  26. jag1959 says:
    Sep 13, 2015 5:21 PM
    So Ben saw it on film but…
    =============
    Don’t you know it’s not nice to play tricks on people with simpleton minds…….. Yeah Ben Saw it on film, but it’s still cheating because you know….. It’s the Patriots who pull that off…..

  27. weepingjebus says:
    Sep 13, 2015 5:47 PM

    The Steelers were the ones receiving Patriot coach communications, not the other way around. The complaint was that it was interference, not that the Patriots were the ones eavesdropping. Haters can’t even get their conspiracy theories straight, sad.
    ___________________

    The steelers were recieving the CBS radio brodacast of the game. Scott Zolak was calling the game. BTW, coaches around the league says it happens all the time with headsets in every stadium.

  28. So you saw it on film, and acknowledge knowing about it, but you were not sure it was legal…hmm.

    So why didn’t you check out that rule, and once you found out it was legal, you know, PREPARE for it.

    That is all on you Ben, and Tomlin, yet you complain like babies.

  29. It looked to me that on the play in question Malcolm Brown was in the neutral zone after the shift. But stuff happens. Get over it. The other call on Beachum for hands to the face was idiotic. Just because the guy’s helmet came off, which was loose to begin with (case in point that it came off again on the very next play). Between those calls, two missed FGs and DHB not knowing his shoe size the Steelers left like 14-18 points on the field.

    P.S. The pic on the title looks like a missed head contact on the QB, too. LOL

  30. pats14 says:
    Sep 13, 2015 5:19 PM
    Pats used line shifts throughout the game not just on the goal line. I doubt it was to draw them offsides.

    —————
    Of course it was to draw them offsides. That’s a legitimate tactic. The Patriots have used it, other teams have used it against the Pats….it’s only Ben who never saw it. When the team is inches away from the goal line, drawing them offsides is exactly what you want to do.

  31. Once again because of player and coach ignorance, the league will be changing this rule.

    Best coach in history against 31 other, lazy, useless coaches who blame Belichick every time they lose.

    Very sad. I watch Belichick taking notes, looking at plays on the surface pro, talking to the defense, offense and special teams.

    The other coach is inevitably standing there with a dazed look on his face. Hilarious.

    Tomlin, wasn’t the headsets, BRO!!!!!

  32. Once again because of player and coach ignorance, the league will be changing this rule.

    Best coach in history against 31 other, lazy, useless coaches who blame Belichick every time they lose.

    Very sad. I watch Belichick taking notes, looking at plays on the surface pro, talking to the defense, offense and special teams.

    The other coach is inevitably standing there with a dazed look on his face. Hilarious.

    Tomlin, wasn’t the headsets, BRO!!!!!

    Where did Tomlin blame the loss on the headsets…..Bro? He was asked a question which he answered honestly…..don’t make more out of than it is. Just think how pissed you Cheaties fans were about Shady Brady……well….Tomlin just hates cheaters that’s all.

  33. All I’m hearing since the loss is a HUGE. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. From Western Penn. suck it up losers and quit crying. Act like men. Your lucky the game was even close.

  34. Defenses have done that for, I don’t know, probably 75 years.”

    Ben is only 33. He needs time to catch up. He’s big but he’s kinda slow on the uptake.

  35. The line shift was fine.

    What Roethlisberger should’ve been complaining about was the linemen barking out phony snap counts — that’s where they WERE simulating. That’s illegal and they should’ve been busted.

  36. Seriously, is BB the only creative coach in this league and if you’re not, you whine because you don’t know better?

    Ben – you need to shut up and learn the rules and listen to yourself (“we saw it on tape”).

    Tomlin – you need to shut up and prepare our team. Put 11 men on the field and have someone cover the best tight end in the NFL.

  37. Steelers were an embarrassment this game. I almost want Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to get injured so I don’t have to to hear from them again the rest of this year. You cry and your fans cry. A bunch of criers that have been getting the benefit of shady calls from the refs for years. Conveniently forgotten by all the downtrodden PA fan base.

  38. Btw update on that story about the Steelers coach who supposedly kicked a fan: turns out that he didn’t, and not only that, the Patriots apparently didn’t bother providing him with security when he had to make his way through the drunks to get back to the locker room.

    First-class operation you’ve got there at Gillette. Headsets that don’t work, no security for visiting coaches and the fact that they have to wade through public drunkard-laden concourses in the first place.

  39. mugsy51 says:
    Sep 13, 2015 5:54 PM
    weepingjebus says:
    Sep 13, 2015 5:47 PM

    The steelers were recieving the CBS radio brodacast of the game. Scott Zolak was calling the game. BTW, coaches around the league says it happens all the time with headsets in every stadium.
    ——————————————–

    No what they say is, the overwhelming majority of the times “it happens” seems to be in Foxborough. Bit of a difference, chief.

  40. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Sep 13, 2015 9:20 PM
    Btw update on that story about the Steelers coach who supposedly kicked a fan: turns out that he didn’t, and not only that, the Patriots apparently didn’t bother providing him with security when he had to make his way through the drunks to get back to the locker room.

    First-class operation you’ve got there at Gillette. Headsets that don’t work, no security for visiting coaches and the fact that they have to wade through public drunkard-laden concourses in the first place

    —–
    I find it hard to believe drunk fans are roaming the field and locker room tunnel. Don’t be mad at Pats fans your coaches can’t control their emotions after a beat down.

  41. p.s. The crying Bill Belichick did on Friday over what all these mean, mean people said about his cheating was ALSO no doubt an example of the kind of whining you can’t stand either.

  42. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Sep 13, 2015 8:37 PM
    The line shift was fine.

    What Roethlisberger should’ve been complaining about was the linemen barking out phony snap counts — that’s where they WERE simulating. That’s illegal and they should’ve been busted.
    —–
    Except nobody yelled phony snap counts. Mayo yelled move to the D-line, then the line shifted. Listen to the replay, the d is allowed to communicate just like the offense. Your line got duped by the shift.

  43. Yes, Pats fans, Bill Belichick is a mastermind when it comes to knowing the rules, mastering every word in the book and applying it brilliantly. So we should all stop crying, because we all wish OUR coach had the vast and complete knowledge of the rules like Bill. This brilliant line shift move is just the latest example of why he’s the best in the business with no peer!

    So then why can’t he interpret a simple, crystal-clear rule when it comes to Spygate?

    Answer that one, smart guys.

  44. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Sep 13, 2015 11:12 PM

    Yes, Pats fans, Bill Belichick is a mastermind when it comes to knowing the rules, mastering every word in the book and applying it brilliantly. So we should all stop crying, because we all wish OUR coach had the vast and complete knowledge of the rules like Bill. This brilliant line shift move is just the latest example of why he’s the best in the business with no peer!

    So then why can’t he interpret a simple, crystal-clear rule when it comes to Spygate?

    Answer that one, smart guys.

    ————————

    Not sure I’m a “smart guy” but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

    Because the rule is NOT crystal clear. The rule does not say that you cannot videotape from the sideline.

    The rule actually says:
    “No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, ON THE FIELD, or in the locker room during the game. ”

    Crystal clear? On the field is technically not the same as on the sideline, but that was how Goodell interpreted it and applied his punishment.

    The rule continues:
    “Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game”

    Being that this second part explains the reasoning of the electronic restrictions, and Belichick knew that they were not using the video during the game, but were only reviewing the video before any rematches, he thought that they were operating within the rules.

    Note that it doesn’t say anywhere that you can’t tape the opponents signals. It is still perfectly legal to do that

  45. realitycheckbaby says:
    Sep 13, 2015 6:52 PM
    The Pats have consistently cheated for years as their owner admitted twice by act of paying fines and giving up picks…

    Wait – NFL penalties are optional??

    All Bob Kraft had to do was say “Nope, we didn’t do it, thanks, we’ll keep the money and the draft picks.”

    That’s how it works??

  46. ““No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, ON THE FIELD, or in the locker room during the game. ”

    Crystal clear? On the field is technically not the same as on the sideline, but that was how Goodell interpreted it and applied his punishment.”

    No, the sidelines are not “on the field”. The term “FIELD” is well-defined in the rule book. The commissioner doesn’t get to “interpret” a word to mean other than its clear definition. That’s a basic concept of rules interpretation. Interpretation only comes into play when a concept is not already clearly defined. The word “field” is clearly defined in the NFL rules, and it means the area between the chalk sidelines. The players and coaches are not standing on the field when they stand in the team areas. That’s why there’s a penalty called “too many men on the field”.

    We didn’t know back in 2007 what a shifty bugger Roger Goodell is. But this should have been a warning flag. Belichick found a loophole and exploited it. Rather than take the proper step of addressing the state of the rules with the rules committee, Goodell simply issued a league memo providing an “interpretation” if the rules that was fictional.

    But at least he did so before imposing a penalty. In more recent years he’s graduated to inventing new rules after the fact.

    As for Spygate, the fact that the Pats could have accomplished the same ends with “Polaroid-type cameras”, legally, really undermines all the “cheater” rhetoric.

  47. The Steelers tipped off the league about the Pats allegedly doing legal line shifts which is well known around the league and asked them to please watch for it

    The league didnt take it seriously

  48. So; let me get this straight; The Pats are being called ‘cheaters’ for shifting defensive alignments prior to the snap ?

    mmmmm…………

    I thought I also saw Brady quick-snap it to a wide-open Gronk, because The Steelers couldn’t get the right number of guys on the field or in the right place. Brady could of course have done the decent thing; called a time-out; and politely let Tomlin know he was a guy short.

    Geez……..

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