Can't slow down
Let's just say Cowher didn't waste any breath trying to talk him out of it. "He still has a lot left in the tank," Cowher says. "His feet are still as quick as any I've seen in the NFL. His long-speed has probably suffered, but he certainly can pick and slide in the hole as well as anybody."
Going into camp, the idea was Bettis would slide into the reduced role for which he'd been slated last season. With the Steelers having signed Staley from the Eagles to be the primary ball carrier, Bettis opened 2004 with one of the most statistically bizarre games of the fantasy-football era -- five carries, 1 yard and three touchdowns in a victory over the Raiders -- and had just 64 total yards before Halloween. He finished with 941, then gained another 165 in the playoffs.
This year, he may be leaned upon even earlier. Staley skipped practice on Wednesday, and a team source said he is strongly contemplating having arthroscopic surgery to drain fluid from both knees -- meaning Bettis likely would hit the ground running once the regular season begins.
No matter what happens, Bettis will make sure to appreciate what may or may not be his final season. It's something he's been doing for awhile now. Coming off an injury-plagued 2002 campaign, Bettis figured he'd play one more year and then walk away. "In 2003 I did everything a little slower and consciously looked at things differently because I thought that would be it," he says. "In '04 I cherished every moment because I thought it could be my last. This year, I want to take each day as it comes and appreciate it, no matter how it plays out."
There can be only one happy ending, of course: Bettis, a Detroit native, winning Super Bowl XL at Ford Field.
"Last year energized him and gave him a boost," Roethlisberger says of Bettis. "So he decided to come back, and since the Super Bowl is in Detroit, I think that might have had a little something to do with it. Oh, man, if we were about to win it? That's one time when I'd take a snap, take a knee and give that ball to him right away."
This is news I really don't like to hear. I have alot of faith in Bettis don't get me wrong, but this isn't how you want to start off the season. I'm not really sure how long that kind of procedure would keep you out for. Anyone have any idea on that? Also not sure how much truth this article bares. Cowher said it is nothing serious so got to wonder.