Nov 2, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts on the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the Michigan sign stealing scandal at the forefront of the college football world, many have wondered why the sport hasn’t adopted the same radio helmet technology that the NFL uses. But as the Pittsburgh Steelers can now attest to, even that system isn’t foolproof when it comes to tipping off your play calls to future opponents.

With one minute and 24 seconds remaining in their matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, the Steelers offense lined up for a third-and-goal play from the Titans’ 11-yard line. But as Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Matt Canada called in the play, Amazon’s NFL on Prime broadcast appeared to pick up the call, which ultimately resulted in an incomplete pass by Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Obviously, airing a team’s play call is a broadcasting faux pas, even if it’s an unavoidable hazard at times. While it’s unlikely the Titans would be able to do anything with the information it might have gained from hearing the play call during the rest of the game, let alone in real time, it could tip future opponents off to Pittsburgh’s offensive terminology and how it matches up with the team’s personnel and the play itself.

Even for a head coach as meticulous as Mike Tomlin, one would imagine that this is a minor inconvenience — but an inconvenience nonetheless. With 10 days to prepare for their Week 10 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, it should be a relatively quick fix for the Steelers to change up their call.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, it won its primetime matchup against the Titans 20-16 to advance to 5-3 on the season and second place in the AFC North. But considering the Steelers are the first team in modern history to be outgained in their first eight games and still have a winning record, the reality is that Pittsburgh’s offense needs all the help it can get.

[Steelers Depot]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.