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Roethlisberger: 'I Always Felt [Patriots] Knew Some Of Our Plays'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Ben Roethlisberger swears that he's not going to pout, and he's not going to talk about it. Except, he's doing exactly that.

The quarterback, on the heels of a season-opening loss in New England in which the coaches' communication system failed several times in the first half, spoke at length on Tuesday about his own experience in dealing with issues while playing the Patriots, as well as the suggestion that several of his former teammates believe the Patriots "cheated" the Steelers out of a Super Bowl.

"Whether we were outcoached or outplayed or they had some kind of a leg up, I always felt like they knew some of our offensive plays," Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. "For whatever reason -- maybe it was better scouting or whatever, but I had always felt that."

Palm, meet forehead.

Just as soon as the Steelers backed off on their accusations against the Patriots, and after the NFL absolved the Patriots of any wrongdoing during last Thursday's game, Roethlisberger ups the ante with new comments. That's the same Roethlisberger who said after the loss that a completely legal defensive line shift -- one which Roethlisberger admitted the Steelers had studied on film -- violated rules, whether written or unwritten.

But lately, not much has stopped folks from lobbing accusations, however baseless they may be, toward the Patriots.

If what Roethlisberger alleges is true, then the Patriots not only have bugged the coach-to-quarterback system of the Steelers at Heinz Field, but they've also memorized the Steelers' playbook. What's more, the mighty Patriots were able to process this information at rapid speed and then communicate it to the defensive players on the field. It was, truly, an incredible system of cheating.

Roethlisberger's answer came after a question about some of his former teammates suggesting that the Patriots "cheated" the Steelers out of a Super Bowl back in the 2004 season.

Here's the timeline which Roethlisberger suggests took place when the Patriots visited Pittsburgh in the 2004 AFC Championship Game:

~30-25 seconds left on play clock: Offensive coordinator sends play directly to quarterback's ear, using no signals of any kind
~25-20 seconds left on play clock: Patriots spy identifies play call after hacking the system in Pittsburgh's building, surreptitiously sends it to a defensive player who also receives the defensive play call (this is done via hand signal, as the NFL didn't allow speakers in defensive players' helmets until 2008)
~20-10 seconds left on the play clock: Patriots defenders get into place to perfectly stop the play, which they know
Snap: Sneaky, spying, cheating Patriots stop the play, win Super Bowls

It's amazing how the Patriots are able to operate on a superior time-space parallel than other teams, isn't it? Who knew Bill Belichick was so powerful?

(Ignore the fact that Tom Brady, Corey Dillon and Deion Branch had magnificent days on offense, forget the fact that Troy Polamalu completely blew his coverage on the Patriots' best play of the game, disregard the fact that it was the Patriots' second meeting with the Steelers of the season, overlook the back-breaking fumble by Jerome Bettis on the Steelers' second drive, and pay no heed to the fact that Roethlisberger's three interceptions can be attributed to the quarterback making bad passes. The narrative must not be suspended.)

This is, of course, the rejuvenated fallout to Spygate, an incident during which the Patriots were penalized for standing in the wrong place in a stadium while filming defensive coaches. Even though it makes zero sense to suggest tapes of defensive signals out in the open seven-plus years ago would give a team intimate knowledge of an opponent's offensive plays, accusations such as Roethlisberger's continue to persist, nearly a decade later.

Oh, but Big Ben assures you, he's not complaining or even talking about it.

"I'm not one to sit and pout about it or talk about it," Roethlisberger said. "I just felt like they beat us on that day and maybe it's because I was a rookie and didn't know any better. But I always felt like they knew some of the plays we were calling."

I don't know, Ben. It kind of seems like you're pouting and talking about it. And after getting faced last week for complaining about a legal line shift, we're starting to wonder if you can lose without whining. Losing by a 41-27 score 10 years ago and still being sore about it? It's not the best look.

Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here. You can email him or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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