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Bettis Rips on the Steelers for Their Lack of a Running Game

The Steelers have been taking a beating from fans for their running game recently, and a former player is now speaking out. That player is future Hall of Fame back Jerome Bettis, who took a shot at Willie Parker and the O-line:

Jerome Bettis was one of the most physical and hardest hitting running backs of all time. It appears he can lay a stinging lick with a pen, too. This time, the punishment Bettis is dishing out is directed at his former teammates. Bettis was highly critical of the Steelers in his debut column on called Bus Stops. Bettis called out his protege, Willie Parker, along with running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Frank Summers. He also didn’t have many nice things to say about the offensive line he once ran behind and the Steelers coaching staff for not trying to improve the unit in the offseason.

“This problem isn’t anything new, and I blame the coaching staff for not addressing the line in the offseason,” Bettis wrote. “How did they rationalize not doing anything about it? Well, they won a Super Bowl. They won’t be so lucky twice in a row.”

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. mark

    September 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    I cant say that Jerome is wrong, can any one? Maybe it fuels the team to do better but Jerome gets paid to speak his mind about football and we all know he was right about this past weekend. I do feel the running game will improve, but my fear is getting Ben injured. How long can the guy play this way? I know he makes things happen and he holds the ball too long sometimes etc… but this is a dangerous game being played with our franchise QB. The line MUST improve and the running game MUST improve or we are in for a tough go of it. I understand this is now a passing league and a passing team but regardless, a successful team can run the ball when they need to and right now I do NOT think the Steelers can run when they need to.

  2. DrGeorge

    September 18, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    The headline of Ron Cook’s article in the Post-Gazette reads “Bettis Throws Steelers Under the Bus” as if Bettis were disparaging the team he played for. Not so. He loves the Steelers. But he isn’t going to lie or dance around the obvious either. Every statement in Bettis’s SI column is accurate and fair. The whole world knows the Steelers’ running game needs work. Tomlin himself said as much. The Steelers are not going to become a running football team when the rules heavily favor the passing game; but the team must be able to run when it is strategically useful or necessary. Right now, the Steelers can’t run when they want to, just as they couldn’t last year or the year before that. This is not a new problem. Look at last year’s Titan tape; FWP averaged less than 2 yards per carry. Sound familiar? Look at the abysmal 3rd down conversion rate in 2008. Bettis isn’t taking a cheap shot in calling out the offensive coaches on this one. When a glaring problem persists for three years, it is not disloyal to observe that the job isn’t getting done. The only reasonable and proper response is to fix the problem. Three years of rushing ineptitude is enough.

  3. jay

    September 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!!!!

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