Ravens: Headsets went down on final drive against Cardinals

Oct 26, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks with side judge Scott Edwards (3) during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

By Steve DelVecchio

Bill Belichick hates the Baltimore Ravens so much that he found a way to cut out their electronic communications on their final drive against the Arizona Cardinals Monday night.

John Harbaugh had a number of complaints after his team’s 26-18 loss in the desert, and one of them was that Baltimore’s headsets stopped working with 1:53 remaining in the game.

“We lost our phones,” Harbaugh told reporters, per Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com. “[Offensive Coordinator] Marc [Trestman] had to yell. We couldn’t get the personnel groups, so guys had to run the personnel group on and off. All of those kinds of things are really challenging.”

It initially appeared that the Ravens would overcome the challenge, as they got down inside the Arizona 10-yard line. However, they fell victim to a questionable illegal formation call and Joe Flacco later threw a game-ending interception.

Steve Smith Sr. also complained about communication issues.

“When your communication is through a walkie talkie and headset in your ear, and that goes out, and you can’t hear, you have to deal the sign language that nobody is really up to speed on,” he said. “Yeah, it was a little hectic because of the lack of technology. And so of course that’s going to have some impact.”

Remember, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was furious about headset issues his team had in a Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots. The Steelers’ website basically accused the Patriots of cheating, though the league later determined the team had nothing to do with the technical difficulties. And, wouldn’t you know, Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills had similar issues in London on Sunday.

Perhaps electronic communication issues — whether the result of sabotage or not — are more common than Patriot conspiracy theorists would like to admit.

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