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 HOF : Jerome !

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PostSubject: HOF : Jerome !   Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:19 am

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

What the Steelers need today is another Jerome Bettis, a big, durable runner who consistently produces yards, touchdowns and victories.

That's like saying the Dolphins could use another Dan Marino, the Giants another Lawrence Taylor, and the Lions another Barry Sanders. Those kinds of players come around once in a generation, and when they're gone, they're irreplaceable.

Bettis is a once-in-a-lifetime running back. No one in the NFL ever saw his likes before and none since. He is the only back who weighed more than 240 pounds and consistently produced, and he did it like few others. Bettis ran for 13,662 yards, fifth most in the history of the NFL when he retired after the 2005 season and sixth today. He played in 192 games over 13 seasons, topped 1,000 yards rushing eight times and did it against defenses that mostly knew when he was coming.

The Bus was not only the best heavyweight runner in NFL history, he ranks among the most productive. At sixth in league history, he is the only eligible back among the top 10 who is not yet in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is his third year as a finalist with the next vote taking place Feb. 2 in New Orleans.

"The sixth-best running back in the NFL should be in the Hall of Fame," said Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, who helped draft Barry Sanders when he worked for the Lions.

Added former teammate Hines Ward, "I don't know what more anyone can ask of a running back, especially his size. I don't know any running back as big as he is and to be sixth all-time speaks volumes for JB."

ColdHardFootballFacts.com, a respected website that often takes alternative looks at statistics, ranks Bettis as the best big back in NFL history. It uses 240 pounds as the cutoff for describing a big back (Bettis weighed between 250 and 265 during his career).

No back had half as many yards among the top 10 as Bettis. The website lists Jamal Lewis as No. 2. He rushed for 6,669 yards. To show how few there have been in the NFL, former Steelers back Bam Morris is No. 10.

What made Bettis different? Many attributes, including his Fred Astaire feet.

"For a big guy, he had unique feet," Colbert said. "He had the feet of a 5-10, 180-pound guy. He had tremendous feet for his size. And obviously, his ability, his toughness, his willpower."

Why so few big backs? They either wear down because they are such big targets and easily hit, or they succumb to injuries for that reason and because their weight eventually crushes their joints.

Bettis endured even though in his prime years, he never played for a quarterback who will join him in the Hall of Fame. Not even close. There was no quarterback to take the pressure off him, to push that safety back out of the box, not until Ben Roethlisberger in Bettis' final two seasons with the Steelers, 2004-05.

Here were the quarterbacks who mostly started when Bettis played for the Rams -- Jim Everett and Chris Miller -- and the Steelers -- Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox before Roethlisberger's rookie season in 2004.

They did not go to the empty set on third-and-2 in those days, they went to the Bus, and everyone knew it was coming. Same on the goal line. It likely led to his career average of 3.9 yards per carry. It's hard to average 4.0 when you get the ball so many times at the opponent's 1 or 2. Yet, had he gained just 81 more yards rushing, his average would stand at 4.0.

A back like Bettis would be a godsend to the Steelers these days when their "franchise" back missed most of his rookie season with an injury and much of his fifth with two injuries. In his first eight seasons, Bettis missed three games. The most he missed in 13 seasons were five in 2001. In his 11th season, he played in all 16. In his 12th, he played in 15, rushing for 941 yards and 13 touchdowns even though Steelers coaches decided to open the season with Duce Staley as their starter until he was hurt midway through it.

Bettis made the Pro Bowl that year, doing so in his rookie season and in his 12th. However, there was more to Bettis than stats.

He played hurt when others would not have. On at least two occasions, Bettis played with what the Steelers listed as "ribs." Were they bruised or broken? Bettis said at the time he did not know; he would not let them X-ray them because he planned to play regardless. Another Steelers halfback at the time said that Bettis was crazy for playing with "broken" ribs. "I wouldn't," the other back said.

There also was no better leader of the Steelers. There has not been one player in 30 years that prompted the kind of public sobbing as did Ward after the Steelers lost the 2004 AFC championship because he thought it was the last game for Bettis.

But Bettis returned in 2005 -- taking his second deep pay cut to do so -- and inspired his team to win a Super Bowl. There is no other way to describe it. They won that one for Bettis, who provided the impetus when, at 7-5 and the Steelers needing to win their remaining four games just to make the playoffs as the sixth seed, he ran over Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears in the snow for the first one. Bettis did not start that game (Willie Parker started), but he ran for 100 yards in the second half and scored two touchdowns -- one most famously over Urlacher -- in a 21-9 victory.

It was the first of seven in a row that landed the Steelers in the Super Bowl in Detroit, Bettis' hometown. When the Steelers were introduced before that game in Ford Field as a team, linebacker Joey Porter held everyone else back to allow Bettis, unbeknownst to him, to run onto the field by himself. It remains one of the more emotional moments in franchise history.

In a recent interview, Bettis cited two things that he held most dear to him about his career, and his rushing stats weren't one of them.

"That when they called my name, I was there. I answered the bell every single time. The second thing is that I inspired my teammates. In this day and age, if you're a leader, you have to lead by example and men have to want to follow you," he said. "The hardest thing in the world is to be a leader of men. And for you to be able to improve someone's level of play because you're there, that's important. You don't see that all the time."

You don't see a Jerome Bettis all the time. In fact, he was one of a kind.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/making-a-case-again-for-bettis-place-in-canton-671245/#ixzz2IcTvFCWH

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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:26 am

I steel watch clips of Barry Sanders. I think that it was mostly smoke and mirriors. Yup!
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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:04 am

Urlacher? The baddest dude in the NFL at the time??




Bowden blows his helmet.. the Bus just gets up..lol





Even News 4 loved him.. lol




RIDE THE BUS.









Did I mention I hate the damn Steelers?
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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:45 pm

Bowden had a running start, accelerating into a stationary target Very Happy

Bettis was moving against Urlacher, but not that fast. Cool

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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:43 pm

Bowden blew himself up.. All he did was knock The Bus down. BUT to Bowden's credit that is about as close as anyone ever came to it. Lol

How he's wasn't instant HOF is beyond me.

And no I don't buy into the HOF hates the Steelers crap when they have as many as everyone else.
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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:01 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Bowden blew himself up.. All he did was knock The Bus down. BUT to Bowden's credit that is about as close as anyone ever came to it. Lol

How he's wasn't instant HOF is beyond me.

And no I don't buy into the HOF hates the Steelers crap when they have as many as everyone else.

Well, I'm a Cowboy fan so you know there's no love lost between the Boys and the Steelers.
Watching The Bus take that hit and then getting right back up and straight to the huddle is so old school. No jawing, no trash talk, no getting up in someone's face. It's like he says, "Big deal, you tackled me... once."

Real football? Played in the 70s. Steelers, Cowboys Dolphins best games ever.
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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:36 pm

PeeB wrote:
no I don't buy into the HOF hates the Steelers crap . . .

You could start re-thinking that with Donny Shell.

Quote :
5x Pro Bowl 4x AllPro, 3x 1st team, retired as career leader in INTs for his position (51 INTs... Troy has 30), 2nd most games played in the history of his franchise (201 games).

How is he not in the NFL Hall Of Fame? He had interception numbers like Willie Wood and yet played Strong Safety... he was the best run defending Safety maybe of all time.

And, oh yeah... 4 rings

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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:57 pm

I could.. but I don't.


In many ways the HOF is a joke. There are guys that should be in there that aren't and guys that are in that shouldn't be...

Mostly because of X number of players go in every year, no more no less. Adding/Subtracting to meet a quota has never had a positive outcome. One of the negatives of this is the number of years you wait shows the level of HOFerness.. ie "oh he's first ballot for sure" or "hes going to wait a few years" etc.. Either he is or isn't HOF.

32 billionaire , 25-30,000 former players, announcers, radio guys, millions of fans. And each one emotionally or financially motivated to think their guys are getting screwed.. ironically in this case they are correct.

You wanna know the guy that's going to puss me off? Hines Ward. Other than playing for the wrong team he is/was the perfect wide receiver. PERIOD. IMO the best all around WR in modern history.
IF 'they' let him in I'll be shocked.
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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:06 pm

Strongly agree with you.

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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:27 pm

Too Many Steelers. Simple as that.

A couple more you may not have considered --

Robin Cole

Coming into his own in 1979, Cole helped lead the Steelers to Super Bowl XIV. A native of Compton, Calif., near Los Angeles, Cole was excited for the Steelers to be going up against his hometown Los Angeles Rams. What added to Cole's excitement was that the Super Bowl was to be played in Pasadena, Calif.

"It was huge," said Cole of returning to his roots to play in the biggest game of the year. "I consider it my most memorable game."

It wasn't just "memorable" because of the opponent and the game's location. Cole's performance spoke volumes in the Steelers' 31-19 victory.

"I was told that I was the MVP going into the fourth quarter," Cole said. "I wound up second to (Steelers quarterback) Terry (Bradshaw). For a linebacker to be MVP, you have to play (well) the whole game. A defensive back can return a couple interceptions for touchdowns or a quarterback can throw a couple of bombs."

Cole didn't hesitate when he reflected on why the Steelers built a dynasty in the 1970s. "It started from the top with (coach) Chuck Noll," he said. "He knew how to build a team and he built it with men of character. A man with character is going to work hard. It's very easy to train and teach a willing person to get better."

It was difficult for Cole to receive his due recognition having played alongside Ham and Lambert. "I didn't get enough publicity," Cole admitted. "How could I when you have two Hall of Famers? There was no room for me. When they left, I started receiving accolades."

Cole was named to the Pro Bowl in 1984 when the Steelers reached the AFC championship game and was an alternate in 1985 and 1986. He left the Steelers a year later before wrapping up his career with the Jets.

"Our presence was phenomenal," Cole said about how the Steelers of the '70s were perceived by opposing fans and players. Nine players from those clubs are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a 10th could be added if former Steelers defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood is named to the next class this weekend.

"I don't know why Russell keeps getting skipped over for the Hall of Fame, and Donnie Shell should be in," Cole said.


http://blackandgoldworld.blogspot.com/2005/02/another-look-robin-cole.html

Dennis Winston :

How did you marry your aggrressive, physical style of football as a player with the technique-driven style of Coach Noll?

Well, I was more vicious then technique (laughing).
Noll loved that fact. He said pound for pound I may have been the best linebacker he ever saw – I remember seeing those words. Unless he was just saying I was small (laughing again).


Did you ever feel like, despite your high level of play, that you got an unfair, lesser amount of attention/notoriety than some of the other Steelers linebackers?

You can’t worry about attention – if you are you are worrying about the wrong thing.

Pittsburgh traded you to New Orleans beforehand - why did they decide to,  do so?

It was for the simple reason that Chuck saw I was the type of player that needed to start. A lot of times I did. Me, Robin (Cole), Jack (Lambert) all did at times. I was versatile – I played all the positions – even played on the defensive line some.

Chuck said I paid my dues and he gave me the opportunity to play for the number one defense in the NFL.


http://pittsburghsportsdailybulletin.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/dennis-dirt-winston/

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PostSubject: Re: HOF : Jerome !   Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:28 pm

And L. C. Greenwood. And Ernie Holmes . . .

It just goes on and on.

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