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Old 08-02-2005, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Bus up and running

Bus up and running
By Joe Bendel
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Running back Jerome Bettis navigated the fields at St. Vincent College on Tuesday as if he were a 22-year-old rookie. He sprinted through holes, outran linebacker Clint Kriewaldt on a body-twisting pass pattern and appeared to have an extra surge of energy.
All of which raised the question: Is this going to be his final training camp?

"It could be," said Bettis, who enters his 13th NFL season, 10th with the Steelers. "I'm taking it one day at a time. I haven't really made that decision yet. I looked at every year the past couple of years that it was going to be my last year. It probably was supposed to be (my final season) the last couple years. But I keep rewriting the book."

Bettis contemplated retirement this past offseason, just months after filling in for the injured Duce Staley and rushing for 941 yards. But he opted to take another shot at playing in his first Super Bowl -- which will be held in his hometown of Detroit.

The decision, however, was far from easy, considering he struggled with aches and pains as recently as June.

"Once I got through the pain issue, I just wanted to see if it was going to linger and stay with me," Bettis said. "There's no need to start a new season in pain. So, the process after last year was pain tolerance. If I would still have been in pain, I would have known my body was telling me something."

Given that he's at full strength - "I won't take any precautions at camp," he said.

The 33-year-old Bettis was asked if he had any intentions of trying to wrest the starting tailback job away from Staley.

He flashed a wide smile before giving a resounding "no."

"I've been 'The Man' for a long time," Bettis said. "I'm comfortable in my role right now. I want to support Duce and I'll be ready to rock when they call me."

Bettis added that there are moments when he misses being the featured back, but reality always kicks in.

Rest of the article:

I am very glad to hear the Bus is looking so good. We need him to be ready in case we need him and it sounds like he is more than ready.
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