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Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis say Patriots ‘cheated’ in 2004 AFC Championship

The two linked up this week on Ben Roethlisberger’s Footbahlin’ podcast.

Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis stand together on the 10th tee box during the first round of the PGA TOUR Champions Constellation FURYK & FRIENDS presented by Circle K at Timuquana Country Club on October 7, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

They may be in retirement, but Steelers’ duo of QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Jerome Bettis is still alive and well. Bettis joined Roethlisberger’s podcast, “Footbahlin’ with Ben Roethlisberger,” this week to discuss their time together on the field, how Bettis came to be known as “The Bus” and more.

Most interesting, perhaps, was the discussion on their 2004 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. Laughing, Roethlisberger said, “To be fair, the Patriots cheated.”

“For sure they did!” Bettis agreed. “It’s not even a question in my mind.”

Bettis went on to discuss a specific instance where the offensive coordinator motioned for a counter play, and the Patriots called a timeout that looked all too suspicious.

“They had our signs, and they called a timeout to get them ready for that play because they knew it was coming,” Bettis said.

Sign stealing has been a hotly contested topic in recent years, though mostly in regards to baseball and the Astros’ 2017 World Series win. Under what circumstances would sign stealing be considered “cheating”? Does it depend on how the signs are identified? What if they’re identified by simply watching the tape and not via the use of spies, drones, or other various types of trickery?

Join our BTSC community and let us know in the comments!

Watch the full episode of Ben Roethlisberger’s Footbahlin’ Podcast with special guest Jerome Bettis here.