Former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel responded to Steelers greats Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis a day after the two talked on Roethlisberger’s Footbahlin Podcast, stating that they both believed the Patriots cheated in the 2004 AFC Championship. Bettis explained how he knew some keys were off from the Patriots.
“Who normally goes to the sideline on timeouts? The defensive captains, right? They told the nose guard, I mean they pulled him to the sideline,” Bettis said. “Big 400-pound guy, he don’t want to go to the sideline and come all the way back,” Betts said. “What he want to go to the sideline for? They yelling, made him go to the sideline and I always thought ‘What he going…’ He went all the way to the sideline and back.”
Bettis ended his statement that there is “no question” to him that the Patriots cheated. Multiple Patriots on that team caught wind of the statements and responded. Barrett Brooks, a tackle for the Steelers in 2004, noted earlier this offseason he thought the Patriots cheated, too.
But one player responded in video format, and that would be former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel. Samuel joined the Patriots in 2003 after being drafted by the team. In a video, Samuel slammed Roethlisberger and Bettis, simply stating they were sore losers.
“Steeler Nation, what’s going on with your legends and Hall of Famers Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis? 19 years later, you guys decide to be sore losers and say we cheated the 2004 AFC Championship,” Samuel said. ”
Tom Brady was better than Ben Roethlisberger, Rodney Harrison was better than Troy Polamalu, Corey Dillion was better than Jerome Bettis etc…. pic.twitter.com/wArDWVf50H
— Asante Samuel Sr. (@pick_six22) September 27, 2023
For reference, Brooks in July said that he could hear the Patriots calling out the Steelers’ cues and plays right away. He accused Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruhschi, specifically, of having inside intel that made their job much easier.
“But I remember in that game, they knew the plays before we did,” Brooks said. ”I could hear all of those guys, Rodney Harrison, would yell ‘draw, draw, draw’, and Ben comes to the line and calls a draw play….Tedy Bruschi knowing the play, ‘they’re gonna sprint to the right’ and then shift the whole defense over. Because they knew our plays before it happened.”
It was later unearthed that the Patriots had two tapes of Pittsburgh from their 2002 meeting in the AFC Championship Game. But the 2004 AFC Championship has never been confirmed through investigations as tamepred. Still, as this shows, many Steelers believe they were cheated out of the game.